My dear readers,
I would like to bring your attention to the importance of transvaginal ultrasounds (TV U/S). While standards of care do not include the performance of the transvaginal ultrasound, the ultrasound allows doctors to look through the pelvic structures in order to identify pathology undetectable by pelvic examination alone.
Over the past four years, our gynecology practice has diagnosed 10 asymptomatic patients with cancers of stage 1A, and over 150 patients with endometrial polyps. As requested by one of my patients, I would like to present a portion of her testimonial to you. Her full testimonial can be found on our web-site. I am deeply thankful to her and to my other patients for their kind words and desire to highlight the urgency of this issue.
"...I married late in life and never had children, so when she said something was there in my ovary, I was glib and said, "It's not a baby, is it?" She didn't laugh.
"Would you want it to be?" she asked. I said I guess not and laughed the way one does when it's still a possibility even though not a good idea.
She explained that she did not like the way something looked and she thought it should come out immediately.
She spent a good deal of time with me that morning (and I shall forever after be patient in a doctor's office, for you never know what someone else is dealing with in the next room).
Within a matter of days, I was at Northside Hospital in Atlanta for a laparoscopic surgery in which Dr. Stepanian removed the mass without disrupting it. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with Stage 1A ovarian cancer, a rare diagnosis since most ovarian cancers are not found until much later. Too much later.
Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in approximately 22,000 women this year. Approximately 14,000 are expected to die from it. The survival rate for those whose cancer is found in Stage IA is around 94 percent. I'm one of those survivors, thanks to my doctor and the transvaginal ultrasound."
With much love,
Dr. Assia Stepanian
Dr. Assia Stepanian grew up in Moscow, the daughter of two illustrious physicians. In fact, much of her training was supervised by her mother, Dr. Leila Adamyan, the developer of some of the most advanced techniques used today in the practice of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.
Dr. Stepanian has authored and coauthored articles, book chapters and classifications in gynecology. She has presented nationally and internationally. Her devotion to women's health was exemplified by her 2001 creation of the first and the leading media resource with the focus of teaching minimally invasive gynecologic surgery worldwide.
Dr. Stepanian is quite candid about her devotion to her patients. "My focus is always on learning about the total woman," she says. "I spend a great deal of time talking with each patient, and I find that I am both teacher and student. It can be an emotional experience for us both. Our visits invariably end with a warm hug. I am extremely fortunate."
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