Mercy Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Hyung S. Ryu Discusses Picking Up On Ovarian Cancer's Subtle Symptoms

November 14, 2011
Mercy gynecologic oncologist Dr. Hyung S. Ryu

Mercy gynecologic oncologist Dr. Hyung S. Ryu

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, but doctors said there are subtle signs to watch for to tell your doctor about.

Only 20 percent of ovarian cancer cases are caught in the early stages.

Margie Cybulski, 72, has ovarian cancer and had a few symptoms, including a pain in her side.

"I thought it was a urinary tract thing, and I was gaining weight in my stomach," she said.

Several doctors examined her and found nothing, but she finally made her way to gynecologic oncologist Dr. Hyung S. Ryu at Mercy Medical Center, where a CAT scan revealed the diagnosis.

"There was nothing in me that said it was ovarian cancer. I was thinking something urinary. I was thinking other things, but nothing that said ovarian," Cybulski said. "Within 12 days, I was on the operating table. It was fast."

According to Dr. Ryu, that's a familiar ovarian cancer story.

"A cancer that starts in the abdomen, and the abdomen does a very good job of hiding things," he said.

Some symptoms to pay attention for include bloating, abdominal distention, feeling full sooner or a change in bowel or bladder habits.

"These are symptoms that aren't just temporary. It's not unusual for women to have similar symptoms for short periods of time, but not if they're prolonged," Dr. Ryu said.

"Once your doctor does appropriate tests, and they think it is ovarian cancer, contact a gynecologic oncologist. Studies have shown that if you are operated on by a gynecologist, you are going to do better," Dr. Ryu said.

Cybulski has two more chemo treatments to go and said she's extremely optimistic about life and feels good.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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