It’s ovarian cancer awareness month, also known as the silent killer cancer

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - September is ovarian cancer awareness month. This cancer can be deadly but can also be silent until it’s too late.

Brandi Barker was 18-years-old when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She started experiencing non-specific symptoms about three or four months before she went to the doctor.

“She was such a strong willed individual,” Brandi’s mother, Diana Barker Vuick said.

Brandi battled for 10 months. When she was in remission, the doctors found that the cancer had spread. Brandi was told she had days, maybe weeks to live. She died surrounded by friends and family in her home at 19 years old.

“It’s known as the cancer that whispers,” Diana said.

“Most of the time in early stages it’s really curable, but you also don’t really get symptoms. You get symptoms when it spreads but its so vague,” Dr. Holly Gallion, OBGYN at ARH said.

Some symptoms of ovarian cancer can be: swollen abdomen, gaining or losing excessive weight, fatigue, back pain, constipation, or being full from food very easily.

“You know your body... If you don’t feel right, go to your doctor, get an exam, and ask them for an ultrasound,” Dr. Gallion said ultrasounds are the most effective way to find ovarian cancer.

Brandi’s mom continues to spread awareness about ovarian cancer and hopes to help someone else the way Brandi wanted to one day.

The year she died, her family started the Brandi Barker Scholarship. It is given to two students in band every year that can demonstrate they have gone through something difficult and persevered.

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