I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

Around 500,000 women suffer from endometriosis, but this figure is higher because thousands of cases are misdiagnosed and the symptoms underestimated. This is the difficult reality that the Chilean female population faces.

“Exaggerated”, “you just have anxiety”, “you are stressed”, “you are very sensitive”. The doctors’ responses were like a door slammed in the face Karoline Rivera The woman, desperate and suffering from intense pain in her uterus and back, sought help from a doctor who could diagnose her and feel relief for the first time in years.

He had to consult at least four doctors to finally confirm that I had endometriosis a pathology commonly called “white cancer”, because it has a similar modus operandi.

Dr. Aníbal Scarella Charmy, President of the Chilean Society of Reproductive Medicine (SOCMER) explains that this disease occurs when the inner layer that lines the uterus – the endometrial tissue – begins to grow into other organs and can even spread to the intestines, urinary tract, lungs and brain.

The only difference is that It’s benign.

The figures show that In Chile, 1 in 7 or 8 women suffer from endometriosis. But Diagnosis can take an average of 6 to 11 years to be discovered because the symptoms are underestimated and are also confused with other diseases and conditions.

I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

Meanwhile, women’s lives – like what happened to Karolin – are rapidly deteriorating: “My health started to deteriorate, as did everything around me. My family, my marriage, my business. I had no energy. “I was in a lot of pain almost every day and it became a part of me.”

Karolin tells The third What The discomfort started in the uterus, but over time it spread to the lower back, pelvis and legs.

In 2016, at the age of 35, in the civil service They gave her the option of having her uterus removed, a surgical procedure that is used as a last resort because it is invasive. and because, even if it relieves symptoms, there is a risk of endometriosis recurrence.

The woman was put on a waiting list and it was only in February 2020, when she was about to go on vacation with her children, that she received a call from La Florida Hospital. “They were looking for me, asking me if I still needed it.”

“I said yes. “That I needed it.”

I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

What are the symptoms of endometriosis, the “white cancer” of women?

Karolin went to the hospital to undergo pre-surgical tests. Doctors found that She suffered from severe anemia due to constant bleeding from endometriosis. but “no one explained to me what I had, what was happening. They just said, ‘Someone has to see the test.’ Nobody told me anything.

Excessive bleeding and pain during menstrual periods reported by Karolin are the first symptoms of endometriosis. This should ring alarm bells among women and health workers. And so far, it has become normal for periods to always be painful.

Some women may also have pain during sexual intercourse, pain in the pelvis even without menstruation, pain in the lumbar region and stomach, cramps in the uterus, pain during defecation and urination, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and nausea.

They failed to help women in public health matters and, out of desperation, had to resort to private health care . Her father applied for a loan – because she couldn’t work due to debilitating pain – and She paid 10 million Chilean pesos for the operation in which her uterus and left ovary were removed.

And that’s it endometriosis is not part of the GES (Explicit Health Guarantees) the program that covers medical care for the most common and serious illnesses in Chile.

I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

The fight for the endometriosis law in Chile

Karin began using her social networks to make visible the enormous gap that existed in the public health system in Chile since More than 500,000 women are living with endometriosis, a figure likely much higher, as there could be thousands more who have not yet been diagnosed in time.

“You can’t provide benefits for a disease that doesn’t exist. We’re left in no man’s land.”

Dr. Ignacio Miranda, associate professor at the University of Chile and director of the National Endometriosis Center of the Clinical Hospital assures in a press release sent to LT What Today, there are medical and surgical treatments available, but not all women have access to them.

“This is why it is essential that the law on endometriosis can be promulgated which postulates, among other things, progress in the recognition of the point of view of insurers, the creation of public policies and a national commission that supervises them, keeping a register of those who suffer from the disease,” explains the expert.

I am a woman and this is the first symptom with which I discovered that I had “white cancer”

The Endometriosis Act aims to promote and guarantee medical care for girls, young people and women affected by the disease. : early diagnosis, referral to specialized centers, possibility of accessing medical licenses and disability pension.

It also aims to promote research into the disease and raise awareness among health professionals and society.

Dr. Miranda also pointed out that The country needs to provide resources to preserve the fertility of women with endometriosis, and often the disease can make it very difficult to be a mother. It is therefore suggested to opt for methods such as egg freezing, the cost of which is very high.

He Law Project It entered the Chamber of Deputies on December 14, 2021, and in January 2024, after being dormant for several years, it was returned to the Senate. However, He had been “stuck” in the second constitutional procedure for months.

In parallel, A few weeks ago, the Ministry of Health announced that it proposes to integrate nine new pathologies for the GES in 2025: among them endometriosis in people aged 15 and over, meaning the treatment could have up to 100% coverage as early as next year.

Karin, for her part, has been operated on for a few years, but the disease has reactivated. “I need a new operation and I still can’t pay the 10 million pesos that the first one cost. And my case is not the only one.

“We are thousands of women affected by endometriosis and “We don’t exist for the system, we are adrift.”


Source: Latercera

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