Health Team

Being in-tune with body key to quick, effective health diagnosis

Posted September 25, 2014 5:27 p.m. EDT

— Debbie Glaberman had a very eventful start to 2009 – she was diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer.

The news came after she sought diagnosis for abdominal pain she had for the previous eight months.

In addition to the cancers, Glaberman, 57, an elementary school physical education teacher, also had two large benign tumors growing inside her.

“And I had gained a tremendous amount of weight, up to 10 dress sizes actually,” she said.

Glaberman went to Duke University Hospital for a double mastectomy, and had a hysterectomy two weeks later.

Many women face the difficulty of not knowing if they have major health problems because they're not aware of the signs and symptoms.

“The most important thing is for women to stay in tune with the changes in their body on a regular basis,” said Dr. Monica Brown-Jones, a Duke gynecologic oncologist.

Brown-Jones said abnormal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain or pressure, abdominal or back pain and bloating are symptoms that should be checked out.

Glaberman has remained cancer-free for five years. She enjoys raising awareness for women’s cancers and encourages others who have been diagnosed to do the same.

“It’s an important thing in your life to know that you’re not alone,” she said.