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Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

A conversation with Dr. Twiggs about ovarian cancer.

Dr. Leo Twiggs, MD, is an experienced gynecological oncologist with almost 50 years of experience.  He is the President of Women’s Cancer Consulting in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a Professor and Chair of the University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School.

What is your background?

I have always strived to serve my community in purposeful ways. I was driven to become a physician from an early age and found my calling caring for and treating women with cancer as a gynecological oncologist. Inspired by their courage and bravery, I led treatment teams that provided women with hope through state-of-the-art care.

When I retired from clinical and surgical practice, I pursued areas of study which I missed during my college days.  I went on to hold leadership and teaching positions in nationally recognized academic centers. My wonderful partner and wife of over 40 years, Martha, was by my side through it all.

Why did you join Aspira Women’s Health?

Joining Aspira as a consultant and then as Director of Medical Affairs was a logical extension of my career. The company’s focus on early detection of malignant disease aligns perfectly with the improvement of health outcomes for woman with cancer that is one of my most enduring core values.

What have you learned about ovarian cancer that you wish more women knew?

If you have unexplained abdominal pain, be persistent in demanding additional clinical assessment and diagnostics! Do not trivialize symptoms you may have as they are often the harbinger of early-stage disease.

If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, there is hope. Treatment modalities are improving substantially. The newly diagnosed patient and her family must be diligent in acquiring all of the facts. If you are not satisfied with your care and the explanations given, don’t delay in seeking a second opinion. Never accept treatment nihilism as modern treatments may be lifesaving.

What are the most promising developments to watch for the diagnosis or treatment of ovarian cancer?

The advent of the use of molecular diagnostics for earlier stage detection and the guidance of treatment options is very exciting. Such tools will certainly become the standard of care in the not-too-distant future.

Do you have any plans for supporting awareness and advocacy during Ovarian Cancer Awareness month?

I am a financial contributor to a patient advocate group founded by nurse oncologist Amy Gundelach “The Gynecological Cancer Awareness Project”. GCAP provides cancer education for early disease prevention, group support for care givers or survivors and financial aid with non-medical costs during treatment.