Ovarian Cancer: Background information when reading The Office of Historical Corrections

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The Office of Historical Corrections

A Novella and Stories

by Danielle Evans

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans X
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2020, 288 pages

    Paperback:
    Nov 2021, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Nichole Brazelton
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About this Book

Ovarian Cancer

This article relates to The Office of Historical Corrections

Print Review

Ovarian cancer cells in a 3-D model In Danielle Evans' collection The Office of Historical Corrections, the short story "Happily Ever After" centers around Lyssa, who at 30 years old is navigating life after her mother's death from ovarian cancer and has been advised to have her own ovaries removed as soon as possible. Ovarian cancer is the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the eighth leading cause of cancer-related death for women. It is the deadliest form of gynecologic cancer.

Racial disparities exist in the outcomes of ovarian cancer. Notably, white women are statistically more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but Black women are more likely to die from it. This reality has been attributed to several factors. Some studies have shown that the increased likelihood of comorbidities among Black women — such as with renal disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension — contribute to the increased death rate. Other studies have highlighted the socioeconomic factors that can interact with these comorbidities or contribute independently — including lack of access to affordable, reliable and equal healthcare, as well as discrimination linked to delay in diagnosis. One study reports that Black women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are less likely to receive standard guideline-recommended care by comparison to Caucasian women.

Despite the strides made in ovarian cancer treatment in recent decades, Black women have as a whole not obtained the benefits of treatment progress over the years. Between 1975 and 2016, the five-year survival rate for non-Hispanic white women with ovarian cancer rose from 33% to 48%, while for African American women it fell from 44% to 41%.

Regardless of race, ovarian cancer is often only diagnosed in its later stages. Most people do not receive an accurate diagnosis until the cancer has progressed to a stage that makes treatment and survival difficult. Because of this, it is important to maintain regular gynecological visits, and to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Some of the most common symptoms include bloating, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, back pain, pain during sex, feeling full quickly after eating or otherwise having trouble eating, fatigue, stomach upset, urinary urgency or frequency, constipation, changes in menstrual period, abdominal swelling and weight loss. However, it is crucial to remember that these symptoms can also indicate many benign disorders and any condition should be properly diagnosed by a medical professional.

A 3-D model with ovarian cancer cells. Source: NIH

Filed under Medicine, Science and Tech

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Office of Historical Corrections. It originally ran in January 2021 and has been updated for the November 2021 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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