South Carolina, USA
Type of Sarcoma:
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
Location of Tumor:
Age at time of Diagnosis:
Dr. Joanna Sadurski
Dr. Suzanne Dixon
After several months of a heavy period, I had a DNC and biopsy, which revealed a soft
tissue tumor - diagnosed a few days later as endometrial stromal sarcoma. I had a complete
hysterectomy within a few weeks. Pathology reports showed the sarcoma was low grade - slow
growing. Chemo and radiation are not generally effective against low grade, so my GYN
Oncologist didn't recommend any treatment. Like anyone else receiving this kind of diagnosis,
I was in shock for the first several months. Unfortunately, this type of sarcoma has a
strong record for recurring - often many years down the road. The hardest part was realizing
that I won't be considered 'cancer free' after 5 years - but will always have the threat of
this cancer for the rest of my life.
I knew so little about this disease when I was diagnosed - and so little is known about it in
general - only 700 women a year are diagnosed with this sarcoma in the US & Europe each year.
I don't live near a sarcoma hospital - and my gynecologist had little experience with it. I
found the lack of information to be a real challenge as I wanted to know as much as possible
about the disease.
This sarcoma feeds on estrogen - so having to adjust to a surgery induced menopause after my
hysterectomy at the age of 47 was difficult. I've done pretty well, however, without Hormone
Replacement Therapy. I take care of myself, exercise regularly, lift weights - and my faith
is a big part of my life.
I celebrate three years of being cancer free next month - and I am grateful. For the most
part, time is helping me push the constant reminders of cancer out of my daily life. Itís
usually my check -ups and scans that bring all of the emotions back to the surface for me.
I have checks ups every 6 months right now. Life is returning to normal - and I have what
many cancer survivors have found - a renewed appreciation for life - and determination to
make a difference while I can. I am grateful.
Cancer will bring things into your life - both good and bad. The good things will be an
appreciation for life - an appreciation for the people you love - and a focus on living
that you might never have had before. Like anything you face, we have a choice. Don't let
the experience be wasted - choose to find some good in it. Choose to live a better life
because of it.
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