United flight attendant caught off guard with ovarian cancer diagnosis after having her ovaries removed

HOUSTON – Dima Kourdie is a flight attendant instructor.

When you think of the most terrifying emergencies, she’s prepared: emergency evacuations, in-flight fires, heart attacks, and more.

She is prepared for many emergencies, but she was unprepared for cancer at just 21 years old.

“I felt sorry for myself. I was scared. I didn’t freak out,” Kourdie said. “I said, ‘you know what cancer, you played with the wrong girl.'”

She beat cancer at that time, retrieved eggs before having her ovaries removed, and was still able to have triplets.

Although it was miraculous, the cancer unfortunately returned when she was in her 40s.

“My oncologist, she came with the file and she said, ‘I’m so sorry, you have ovarian cancer.’ I laughed. I laughed. I thought she had someone else’s file because I said, “I don’t have ovaries, I didn’t have ovaries for so long.” You have someone else’s file. She said, “I know, I’m so sorry,” Kourdie said.

According to Texas Oncology, approximately 1,783 Texas women will be diagnosed this year.

Statistically, less than half survive.

Nicole Andrews of the STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation said the only way to improve those odds is to fund research. Research is important, for example, it could potentially find a biomarker, a screening test or better treatments.

“We need to fundraise, at this point, so that researchers can do the research that we really need for treatments, and then eventually we need money to be able to do some sort of screening test,” Andrews explained. .

Currently, there is no annual screening. Ovarian cancer is not detected by an annual Pap test.

Women need to know the symptoms.

Fortunately, Andrews and Kourdie made it through and are doing well.

“I’m here for awareness, but I’m also here for hope,” Kourdie said.

“You should never live in pain and discomfort, it’s not normal,” Andrews said.

Symptoms include:

  • Bloating

  • Frequent urination

  • Abdominal pain

  • Feel full quickly

Check the STAAR symptom test to see if you should talk to your doctor: Symptoms – STAAR OVARIAN CANCER FOUNDATION (staaroc.org)

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