‘Silent Killer’: Santa Rosa Beach woman takes her fight with ovarian cancer to the public

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM.

The chemo she is taking now is for tumor growth, which she gets at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She moved back to Houston to be close to the hospital for her treatments, but still owns a home in South Walton and the SOHO lady's apparel stores at Gulf Place .

In addition to fighting to stay healthy, Markey also has another mission: promoting ovarian cancer awareness, and September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

"Typically, ovarian cancer doesn't show. It's called the silent killer because by the time a woman is diagnosed, she is usually in a late stage, as it was in my case. That's why it's so important that women are aware of the symptoms," she said. "The prognosis for Stage 4 ovarian cancer is getting better when it is caught early. It's hard to detect, but symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, frequent urination, swelling, a feeling of fullness, gastro complaints, or changes in bowel habits. Women know when things aren't right in their bodies and I knew something wasn't right. I urge women to keep going to doctors until you find the right doctor.”

Markey goes for chemo every two weeks and is excited that Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast has a new cancer center.

"My message is: be aware of your symptoms and if any symptoms last more than two weeks, see your doctor. Don't give up!" she said.

Throughout the month of September, SOHO Beach and SOHO WOMAN, both in Gulf Place, will have complimentary information cards available, detailing the signs of ovarian cancer. Additionally, both stores will be offering bracelet and rings for sale promoting both ovarian and all cancer awareness. Proceeds from the sale of these items will go to ovarian cancer research.

"If any one of those four doctors or even I had known the symptoms of ovarian cancer, perhaps it would have been taken care of four years ago and I would be cancer free today," said Markey. "The survival rate of a Stage 4 ovarian cancer patient is five years. Let's promote ovarian cancer awareness so other women and their doctors can know the signs."  

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