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St. Pete Mayor’s Wife Sheds Light on Severity of Ovarian Cancer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ovarian cancer is sometimes called the “silent killer.” It’s so often very hard to detect because its symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, difficulty eating, and needing to urinate frequently can so easily be explained off as something else. 


What You Need To Know

  • Kerry Kriseman was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer last year
  • She was lucky doctors caught her cancer early
  • She warns that’s not often the case and says to pay attention to your body

Kerry Kriseman explained it off last September until she was taken to the emergency room with a fever and abdominal pains while in California for her son’s golfing tournament. 

“And that’s when they told me I had a 20 cm tumor on my right ovary,” Kriseman said. “I just kept saying No. How can this be?”  

As the wife of Saint Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Kerry expects her personal, professional, and political lives to occasionally intersect, but this is where they all collided. As the reality set in on her diagnosis, so did the fact that she was blessed that doctors caught her cancer early. Something that’s often rare with ovarian cancer patients.

“I was admitted to the hospital because the fever was due to infection and abdominal fluid,” Kriseman said. “And nobody knows where that came from and why it happened. I believe it was a gift from God. It was a sign that I may have otherwise continued to ignore the symptoms.” 

Officials at the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation say those common symptoms are just part of the challenges of early detection. 

“There is no screening test for ovarian cancer. None,” said foundation President Claudette Carlan. “So you have to really know your body and look for symptoms.” 

And now that doctors say Kerry is cancer free, she knows more about herself and what advice she can pass on to other women. 

“Do not ignore any subtle changes in your body and do not Google,” Kriseman said. “Whatever you do, do not Google! I have about, and I’m not kidding you, 20 things that this was besides cancer — that I was telling myself it could be.”

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