What Dr. Luke has to Say About Ovarian Cancer

Wang Chun Hua was 45 years old and went to see a doctor in the local hospital because of pain in her lower right abdomen.  The doctor examined her and found out that she had a probably mass in her right ovary.  The doctor ordered for Wang Chun Hua to have an ultrasound of that ovary the next day.  An ultrasound is a very simple X-ray, which causes no pain at all.  It is very quick and easy to do.  Wang Chun Lin had this test done the next day and the results were sent to her doctor.  The doctor called her the day after the test and discussed the results with her.  The ultrasound showed that Wang Chun Hua might have cancer of the ovary.  She was very concerned about this. The doctor suggested they do a procedure to find out if in fact she did have ovarian cancer.  This test was scheduled for the following week.

Wang Chun Hua and her husband had many questions about ovarian cancer.  So they scheduled a visit before the surgery to discuss these questions with the doctor.  The doctor told them that cancer of the ovary was fairly common.  It was one of the more common gynecological cancers.  Also, the problem with diagnosing it is that it most often presented as an advanced type of cancer.  There are not good ways to pick it up as an early cancer.

The doctor told her  there clearly appears to be a genetic link with ovarian cancer.  The risk of acquiring it in your lifetime if no one in your family has had it is less than 2%.  However, if your mother or sister have had ovarian cancer that risk increases to over 5%.  If two more people in your family have ovarian cancer your risk goes up to 7%.  There is a small group of people who have a very high risk of ovarian cancer, that is up to 40%, but this number of people is very small, that is about 3%.

Wang Chun Hua wondered why she did not have more symptoms.  The doctor told her that most women did not have any symptoms of ovarian cancer.  There actually is no explanation for this.  This is just the way the cancer works.  Many women present to the doctor without symptoms but with very advanced disease.  They may feel fine until they go to the doctor and he tells them they have very advanced disease.

Wang Chun Hua also wondered what kind of treatment she could get for the cancer.  Was there surgery, medicines or what?  She was very concerned as might be expected.  Her husband also wondered this as well.  The doctor told them that the surgery, which was already scheduled, was for both diagnosing the cancer and the extent of the spread of the cancer in her abdominal cavity, but also removing the parts of her female organs, which are affected.  Usually the doctor told her that all of the female organs are removed.  Wang Chun Hua had already had one child and had not planned on having others. She wondered what women who had never planned to have children did in this case.  That must have been very hard for these women.  The doctor told her that this certainly was the case.

Wang Chun Hua’s case is neither unfamiliar nor uncommon.  A woman in middle age with probably advanced ovarian disease.  How was she going to deal with this?  Certainly she and her husband were very anxious about this.  The Bible speaks to this type of situation.  God wrote the Bible over many thousands of years through men in many different cultures and civilizations. From Asian to African to European.  The book of Psalms written by King David about 1,000BC says the following about a situation similar to Wang Chun Hua’s.   Wang Chun Hua had heard of a friend who had been through a hard time but seemed to be not to bitter from it.  So she went to this friend.  This friend told her that she was a believer in Jesus Christ and they it was Jesus Christ who have given her peace.  Her friend shared with her this poem from the Bible from the Psalms and written by King David.

 ‘I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.  I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint.  You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.  I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night.  My heart mused and my spirit inquired.  Will the Lord reject forever?  Will whenever show his favor again?  Has his unfailing love vanished forever?  Has his promised failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful?  Has he in anger withheld his compassion?  Then I thought, to this I will appeal:  the years of the right hand of the Most High.  I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your mighty deeds.  Your ways, O God, are holy.  What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the people (Psalms 77.1-14).’

What a great and powerful poem about the greatness of God in the midst of hurt and disillusionment with life.   Though at times King David thought God had abandoned him in his distress he realized God was always there.  All of us at times as very hard questions like this don’t we?  It seems as if all is against us and everything has gone wrong.  Like God’s mercy, promises, compassion, all is against us.  But like King David we can remember the times when God did deliver us, when he performed many miracles and did great and mighty deeds.  When we recall the greatness of God, the creator and sustainer of the world.  The God who heals and provides food for the hungry and clothes for the poor, how can we not go back to him and ask for all of the things of life we need and want?

The important question is how though can we come to know this God?  This was the question Wang Chun Hua had.  How could she come to know this God?  She did not know him at all and had little knowledge of him.   Her friend told her she could come to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord.  Her friend told her that she could first needed to acknowledge that God existed.  She showed her another two other verses from the Bible about faith.  The first stated.  ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and convinced of what we do not see (Hebrews 11.1).’  This seemed straight forward enough for Wang Chun Hua.  Then she showed her the second verse.  ‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and the he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11.6).’ This was more challenging.  Wang Chun Hua was told her friend that she was like a lot of Chinese who were not really sure if God did exist or not.  She wanted to believe but was not so sure. 

Her friend showed her another place in the Bible written by a person named Paul to the people of Rome around 65BC.  The section in the book stated the following about knowing God.  ‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.   For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1.18).’

Wang Chun Hua realized that she was like this.  She really was without excuse.  She knew she had many different excuses for not believing in God.  But she knew she was like all the other people that is she had not excuse.  Before going on lets go back to talk about Wang Chun Hua’s treatment for ovarian cancer.

As we have discussed Wang Chun Hua did have surgery and had her ovaries and uterus and tubes removed.  She was very sore after the surgery.  The doctor told her that she had fairly advanced ovarian cancer.  She asked what this meant.  The doctor told her these statistics.  75% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.  The over-all five-year survival rate is approximately 17% with distant metastases or spread of the disease, 36% with local spread of the disease, and 89% with early disease.  She was in the middle group.

The doctor told her that having chemotherapy would help her to live longer and better.  However, he told her that not all people had great responses to chemotherapy.  Some people did better than others.  So she underwent this therapy, which made her feel terrible and loose all of her hair.  She went out and bought a wig.  During this time of suffering she went to see her friend several times and talked more about God.  Her friend was able to answer several more questions.  Her friend pointed out to her the following about God and humans.

She pointed out in the book of Romans in the Bible the following:  ‘All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3.23).’  What did this mean?  It meant that all people who have ever lived have sinned.  This sin has brought them short of the glory God intended for them.  Then she showed Wang Chun Hua this section in Romans.  ‘For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6.23).’  That is the result of sin is death.  This is the payment we ultimately get for our sins before God.  But the gift God gives us is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Life that never ends.  What a promise.  Then Wang Chun Hua’s friend showed her this verse. ‘But God showed his love for us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5.8).’  That is while we were still sinning Jesus Christ died for us.  We did not have to wait for us to do right, because that would not happen.  Christ died for our sins on the Cross-even when we did not want him to die for us.

Wang Chun Hua was still concerned about how she could come to know Jesus Christ as her savior and Lord.  How could she come to know Jesus Christ?  Her friend told her that she must come to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord.  Here is what she told her.  ‘That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame (Romans 10.9-11).’  This was very clear to Wang Chun Hua.  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the world.  That is that he made everything and is in control of everything and if you believe that God raised him from the dead after he died on the Cross-for our sins, then you will be saved.  Saved to eternity and to live with God throughout all eternity.  What a great promise.

Wang Chun Lin’s friend asked her if she wanted to pray a prayer to receive Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord.  She said yes.  Here is what she prayed.  ‘Dear Lord Jesus I know that I have sinned and have done wrong.  I know that you died on the Cross-for my sins and that after that you rose from the dead to show your power over sin and death.  I thank you that you have saved me from death and have brought me to life.  I ask that you come into my life now and save me from my sins.’ 

After this prayer she had an indescribable joy in her life. God had saved her and given her new life.

You to can pray this prayer and have eternal life through Jesus Christ.