Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of September being Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would do a little education. All information below can be found here.

Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women ages 35-74. It is estimated that 1 out of 58 women will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime.

If diagnosed and treated early, and the cancer is confined to the ovary, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%. However, because the symptoms are not specific and because of lack of early detection only about 19% of all cases are found at that early stage. Like many other cancers, the survival rate decreases, when it is caught in later stages.

According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, there are more than 30 different types of ovarian cancer. This type is determined by the type of cell they start from.

For more information on the types of ovarian cancer and the stages, click here.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes

These are vary vague symptoms, many of which women deal with on a regular monthly basis. However, when the symptoms persist and do not subside with normal intervention, it is IMPERATIVE to see your physician.

Screening tests are available and should be discussed with your physician, especially if you have a family history of ovarian, breast or colon cancer. You are also at risk if you are over age 35 and/or have undesired infertility. A pap test DOES not detect ovarian cancer, it detects cervical cancer.

Screening tests for ovarian cancer include:

  • Pelvic Exam
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound
  • CA-125 Test

If you or someone you know is at risk, please click here and learn more about detection, stages, treatment, risk factors, and prevention of Ovarian Cancer.

You can also contact the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Helpline (1-888-682-7426) to get more information or to find support services in your area.

Don't take your health for granite, make regular visists to your GYN!!!