When La Cañada Flintridge resident Nancy Illian went to the doctorseven and half years ago with concern over an issue with her menstrual period, she knew she wasn’t just wasting time. Forty-eight at the time, Illian had been the opposite of a hypochondriac up to that point in her life, only visiting the doctor when absolutely necessary.
Her doctor told her not to worry, so she went home. However, after finding herself uncomfortably bloated, Illian went back, only to have the doctor tell her to do some sit-ups to relieve the problem.
“I didn’t take that for an answer,” said Illian.
After successfully pushing for an ultrasound, Illian was told she might have a cyst. Her doctor tracked her for four weeks before sending her to oncologist Dr. Richard Friedman at Glendale Memorial Hospital.
It turns out Illian had been right to be concerned — she had ovarian cancer.
“We were sitting in the waiting room [when] I saw him pick up my ultrasound at the desk … he didn’t even have to examine me, he knew by looking at it what it was,” said Illian.