13 Year Old Armenian Girl Needs Your Help
Gayane was born in 1995 in Armenia where she still lives with her family in the remote village of Davtashen. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor which has grown so large the doctors say they will need to remove all her reproductive organs. The surgery is scheduled for this week at the Armenian National Center of Oncology in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.
It is not known if the tumor is benign or malignant. The surgery will help determine the tumor’s type. The surgery will cost $600-800 dollars which the parents can not afford. The family will also need money for travel to and from their home to the hospital.
The ovary is the paired female reproductive gland in which ova or eggs are formed. Ovarian cancer forms in this tissue. Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).
Many types of tumors can start growing in the ovaries. Most of these are benign (non-cancerous) and never spread beyond the ovary. Ovarian tumors that are not benign are malignant (cancerous) and can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Tumors in girls under 18 years of age tend to be LMP or germ cell tumors. Low malignant potential (LMP tumors) tumors grow slowly and are less life-threatening than most ovarian cancers. Although they can be fatal, this is not common.
Most germ cell tumors are benign, although some are cancerous and may be life threatening. About 5% of ovarian cancers are germ cell tumors. Of the several subtypes of germ cell tumors, the immature teratomas are the ones most likely to occur in girls and young women younger than 18. These are rare cancers that contain cells that look like those from embryonic or fetal tissues such as connective tissue, respiratory passages, and brain. Tumors that are not very immature (grade 1 immature teratoma) and have not spread beyond the ovary are cured by surgical removal of the ovary. When they have spread beyond the ovary and/or much of the tumor has a very immature appearance (grade 2 or 3 immature teratomas), chemotherapy is recommended in addition to surgery to remove the ovary.
Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnosis early as the symptoms are not obvious, but are often vague. The symptoms include:
> Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs
> A swollen or bloated abdomen
> Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
> Feeling very tired all the time
Most often these symptoms are not due to cancer, but only a doctor can tell for sure. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor.
eMaxHealth would like to help Gayane and her family. We have set up a bank account in her name. The funds will be transferred to her family to help them pay for her surgery and any postoperative treatments she may need. If you would like to contribute, please email [email protected] or contact Emaxhealth at 828 291-5884.