Eight years ago, Ellen Kuykendall of Walnut Creek, Calif. received a diagnosis of stage 3 ovarian cancer. The news was devastating for Ellen and her family, but she had become all too familiar with the subject after watching her mother receive the same diagnosis years before.
Initially Ellen was hesitant about undergoing chemotherapy to treat her cancer. “I did not have a tremendous amount of hope,” Ellen remembers. Gynecologic oncologist Vikas Mahavni, MD at the Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center gave Ellen hope and convinced her to undergo chemotherapy.
Knowing that Ellen’s ovarian cancer diagnosis also carried an increased risk of breast cancer, her Kaiser Permanente care team closely monitored her and successfully detected breast cancer at stage 0. Ellen underwent a mastectomy to remove the cancerous mass and has been cancer-free since.
Ellen is grateful to her Kaiser Permanente care team, and credits Dr. Mahavni’s support and proactive care for saving her life. “I truly believe we would be dealing with a lot worse situation if it wasn’t…for Kaiser.”