{{ vm.loadingText }}
from
$
{{ vm.myQuote.weeklyPrice }}/week
That's {{ vm.myQuote.totalPrice }} {{ vm.myQuote.paymentFrequency }}
Review quote
{{vm.myQuote.coverFor}} {{ vm.myQuote.coverScale }} in {{vm.myQuote.state}}, with no Australian Gov. Rebate. with a {{ vm.myQuote.rebate }}% Australian Gov. Rebate.
from ${{ vm.myQuote.product.price }}/week  
+
from ${{ vm.myQuote.extras.price }}/week  
  • Add-ons:
  • {{ addon.title}} ${{ addon.price}} /week (included)
from
$
{{ vm.myQuote.weeklyPrice }}/week
That's {{ vm.myQuote.totalPrice }} {{ vm.myQuote.paymentFrequency }}
Review quote
{{ vm.productAddedTitle }} {{ vm.productAddedSuffix }}
You're from Overseas
133 423
myQuote

Your quote

View full quote
There are no products in your quote
Package cover
{{quote.quoteValues.products.hospitalAndEssentials.title}}
Hospital cover
{{quote.quoteValues.products.hospital.title}}
Select a Hospital product
Ambulance cover
{{quote.quoteValues.products.ambulance.title}}
Select an Ambulance product
Overseas cover
{{quote.quoteValues.products.overseas.title}}
Select an Overseas product
Extras cover
{{quote.quoteValues.products.essentials.title}}
Select an Extras product
Add-ons
{{item.title}}
Select an Additional product
total {{quote.userValues.paymentFrequency}}${{quote.quoteValues.premium|number:2}}*

Fast checkout

Loading... Check out Continue

*Price may be subject
to change upon checkout.

Dr Duncan

Ovarian cancer

RSS feed icon
I recently attended the funeral of a woman who had died far too young, and as I looked around the Church I saw so many young people who had rarely come this close to death during the course of their lives. It was an amazing event, mainly because of the loving, happy attitude of her family who set the whole tone of the event: and when we went outside, there were white balloons for everyone to hold onto and then release together in one symbolic sign of “letting go”.

Which brings me to Ros*: a lady whom I had cared for many years ago and who had also succumbed to the same disease as this current young woman - Ovarian cancer. This is Ros’s story and how it has left a great legacy in my life and the lives of others.

There aren’t many patients who walk into a doctor’s surgery and place a voice recorder on your desk as ask if it’s OK to record the consultation, and then follow that up with taking out a clipboard and saying “can I ask you some questions too?” All of this was done with a wonderful, smiling face that held just the hint of a cheeky grin! I was fascinated by her “intro” and agreed to the terms of her request. Once she had gone through her check-list of things that she needed out of our doctor/patient relationship, she then told me that I was the fifth doctor she had approached in such a way, and the first to have passed her “test”! At this point I wasn’t sure whether to puff out my chest or show her the door. But that was the start of a two-year interaction that finally ended with me joining a crowd of people who were, coincidently, holding white balloons outside of a Church following her funeral service.
Ros had ovarian cancer, and by the time it had been detected - as is often the case - - it had spread beyond her ovaries and the chances of survival were thus dramatically reduced. But that wasn’t the “end” for her, but the beginning of her greatest challenge as she fought tooth and nail to live as long as she could so that her two young daughters could grow a little older and be able to cope with life without their Mum.     

What Ros showed and shared was not grim determination, but a joyful embrace of life - a life much shorter than she anticipated, but nevertheless, a full and loving life. Like everyone who has cancer, life changes because you have to spend so much time attending doctors, having chemo or being measured up for radiotherapy. She lost her hair, but made it a feature of her “new persona” and made baldness a fashion statement rather than something to be frightened of. She researched alternative treatments and scared me rigid with some of her more outlandish thoughts about them, but she was grasping for life and I respected her for that.

Watching someone whom you have come to admire, respect and laugh with, slowly lose the battle to an insidious disease can be a sad time but that was one battle that Ros refused to lose. She filled her life with colour,  laughter and terrible jokes - because she was determined that her dear daughters remembered her shortened life with happy memories and not as a slow decline into oblivion.

Ovarian cancer is not just one cancer but an overall description of the various types of malignant change that can affect the ovaries. Unfortunately, because the ovaries sit low down in the female pelvis, any disease that affects them such as cysts or tumours, can often not be noticed physically for quite some time. And screening for ovarian cancer is far from perfect at this stage. For those whom we would consider to  be at high risk - those with Mums who have had ovarian cancer in particular - then combined screening with a blood test known as CA 125 plus trans-vaginal ultrasound examination of the ovaries gives the best that science has to offer so far.

When found early, treatment of the disease results in excellent outcomes, but unfortunately many women are unaware of the problem until the cancer has spread to other organs well away from the ovary.

The four most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include :

• Abdominal or pelvic pain
• Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
• Needing to urinate often or urgently
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

The biggest aid we have presently is a desire to increase awareness - hence the national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in February each year - to promote early detection and fund ongoing research into how best screen for, and then treat this insidious disease.

When we said “goodbye” to Ros, I went outside the Church to join the people holding those white balloons, and one was offered to me. I was mildly rebuked for refusing to take one: but what I didn’t tell the person who had handed it to me was that I wasn’t ready to “let go” of Ros and all that she had taught me during the course of her illness. I suppose that over the years since that time, when I have shared her story with families who find themselves in a similar position, each one of those occasions has been a “little letting go” for me, and each time her story has given others strength and inspiration too.

*Ros is not her real name.

Article written by Dr. Duncan Jefferson. More articles here. For more information on health care and private health cover, visit HBF Insurance at www.hbf.com.au.

The content of these articles is not tailored for any particular individual's circumstances. The author does not take into account your physical condition, medical history or any medication you may be taking. Any advice or information provided by the author cannot replace the advice of your health care professional. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of HBF unless clearly indicated.

It looks like you're from Outside Australia

We need to confirm your location to show you the correct content, products and pricing.

No, I'm not from Outside Australia

Sorry, your product selection isn't available if you live outside Western Australia.

Our products and prices differ from state to state. So we need to make sure you're looking at the right information to give you an accurate quote.

You're about to see content designed for people outside WA.

Content, products and pricing information is different if you live in Western Australia.

Oops! This product isn't available in your state

The product you’ve selected isn’t available for purchase in your state.

Please select your state or territory

We need to confirm your location to show you the correct content, products and pricing.

Change your state or territory

If you change location, we'll reset your quote and refresh the page to show you the content, products and pricing relevant to your location.

WA NSW VIC SA TAS NT QLD ACT I'm visiting from outside of Australia
Would you like personalised pricing? Add product to your quote Edit your details
To show accurate prices relevant to you, we need to know a little about you first. Thanks for selecting your product. So we can proceed with your quote, please fill in the following details.
I want cover for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Single parent families
Please select your cover type
Are you an Australian resident?
Hospital or package products in your quote may not be suitable for overseas visitors. If you continue, we'll remove these from your quote.
Overseas visitor products in your quote may not be suitable if you are an Australian resident. If you continue, we'll remove these from your quote.
Hospital or package products are not suitable for overseas visitors.
Overseas visitor products are not suitable if you are an Australian resident.
Which type of visa do you hold?
Please select your Visa type
Please specify your Visa number
Please enter your 3-digit Visa number
Is your visa subject to the 8501 condition?
Please specify your choice
What is your DOB?
  • Please enter your birth date
    Our products are suitable for ages 18 to 101
    Australian Government Rebate
    Where do you live?
    Please select where you live.
    Sorry, your product selection isn't available if you live in {{vm.stateLabel()}}. Our products and prices differ from state to state. So we need to make sure you're looking at the right information to give you an accurate quote.
    Now that you've confirmed your location, we'll refresh the page with the most relevant content, products and pricing.
    Your product selection isn't available if you live in {{vm.stateLabel()}}. If you continue, we'll remove these from your quote and refresh the page with the most relevant content, products and pricing.
    You've changed your location. If you continue, we'll refresh the page to make sure you have the most relevant content, products and pricing.
    How often do you want to pay?
    Cancel (this option will show estimated pricing only). Cancel Cancel
    Find my cover
    Add to quote
    Save your details