Mindy: Knowledge Can Save a Life

Signs Leading to a Health Problem

"I was getting heavy periods and I was tired all the time, even when I had 12 or 13 hours sleep," said 43-year-old Mindy. "After sonograms and a biopsy by my OB/GYN, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and was referred to Dr. Hyung Ryu at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy for treatment," Mindy continued with optimism in her voice.

Dr. Ryu gave Mindy a thorough exam and ordered diagnostic testing to stage her cancer diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan. After he reviewed her test results, Dr. Ryu found that she had a rare and highly malignant form of endometrial cancer, uterine papillary serous carcinoma – a cancer that is extremely aggressive and known to quickly spread throughout the body.

A Doctor's Hunch Saves a Life and Changes Family History

According to Mindy, Dr. Ryu felt her diagnosis just "didn't make sense," especially in her demographic. Mindy said, "My Dad died from the same kind of carcinoma."

Dedicated to finding the best treatment, Dr. Ryu worked to find a cause. Through research, further testing, and close, personal care, Dr. Ryu found that Mindy had Lynch Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes a much higher risk of uterine and colon cancers. This helped explain her unusual case of endometrial cancer.

Because Dr. Ryu identified the underlying cause of Mindy's cancer, her treatment and chemotherapy regimen radically changed. Dr. Ryu created a personalized treatment plan that included a unique mix of chemotherapy drugs in order to achieve the best outcome for Mindy.

"The fact that Dr. Ryu recognized that there was something odd about my diagnosis saved my life," said Mindy. "Dr. Ryu provided me and my family so much comfort. He made me feel like I was the only person in the world."

Once Mindy knew Lynch Syndrome was in her family, she and her family members now have the knowledge of an accurate family history and the ability to receive the necessary preventive care.

Now, out of treatment, Mindy says she feels better than she has in years. "I'm walking 2 ½ miles every other day and I'm planning a 10-mile hike. I feel like I'm 23 all over again and my energy level is through the roof!" 

Mindy's Treatment Team