Former nurse misses own cancer symptoms, now spreads awareness

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Even after working with cancer patients on a daily basis, one Illinois nurse managed to miss her own symptoms of cancer. Now the woman is spreading awareness to help save as many lives as possible.

Carol Kuczek Is a former nurse who worked in the oncology department at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Illinois, also known as the cancer floor.

She says she knew all the signs and symptoms of several different types of cancers, but last September she lost 20 pounds and didn't think anything of it. Four months and several tests later, she was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer.

While Kuczek says she has about a 30 percent chance of living five years, she says she plans to use her time educating woman on the importance of listening to their bodies and not ignoring the changes in them.

"Woman have to start asking you: 'How do you know that I don't have ovarian cancer?' There's a simple lab test that can be done to show if you possibly have ovarian cancer. You can easily have an ultrasound done. I mean because it's very insidious. It just creeps up on you and many times it's found too late," says Kuczek.

Kuczek has completed 18 chemotherapy treatments over the last five months.

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