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Awaiting moderation 62148 Article

The hidden disease: why doctors fail to discover endometriosis

        THE HIDDEN DISEASE: WHY DOCTORS FAIL TO DISCOVER ENDOMETRIOSIS
On a warm day in April, two women working together at a television station decide to have a light lunch at a nearby sidewalk cafe. Its a friendly, crowded place, with small round tables set close to each other. Barbara, usually the more easygoing of the two women, seems worried as she leans forward and remarks to Jane: "Laura could lose her shot for a job in the newsroom. She's missed so much work lately. Maybe she doesn't want the job at all."
Jane: Between us, it's not the job. Laura's always in pain . . . she's got some real problems.
Barbara: What do you mean by problems? Jane: She has endometriosis. Barbara: What's that?
Jane: For years, Laura had terrible cramps and pain, but no doctor could tell her what was wrong. Now it seems that the disease has done so much internal damage that she can't get pregnant. Endometriosis spreads!
Barbara: How? Is it some new type of V.D.?
Jane: No, its not a disease you can catch. Thats all I know for sure.
A conversation like this one was exchanged over lunch somewhere in Manhattan, but one could easily find "Barbara" and "Jane" meeting at any coffee shop, discussing the plight of "Laura." Such conversations are no longer isolated cases, because the subjectendometriosishas tragically become a widespread topic. Compassionate friends like Barbara and Jane can only begin to describe the extent of the disease's symptoms and effects. Every day in every city, millions of concerned women who know someone with endometriosis or who are themselves plagued by it are also searching for solutions to this new and growing health problem. Who are these women?
One might be a friend, a boss, a relativeor she might be yon. The facts now tell the story: a conservative estimate counts 20 million women with endometriosis, but realistically, there are more than twice that number of victims at varying stages of the disease. Millions of Lauras face the possibility of infertility and needless Buffering. Millions more are crippled by relentless pelvic pain and its complications, such as debilitating cramps and bladder disorders. Some have lost faith in professional medical care, as one doctor after the other (ailed to diagnose their disease before it grew out of control. More important, vast numbers of women may have endometriosis and not know that they do.

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