Early, Accurate Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis is Critical to Survival
Ovarian Cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women with an estimated 21,980 women diagnosed each year. Ovarian Cancer itself can be effectively treated – with one important caveat – early and accurate diagnosis is imperative.
The five year survival rate for ovarian cancer with early Stage 1 detection is 93% according to ovariancancerawareness.org, however for the majority of those diagnosed with the disease – detection comes too late.
In fact, according to a national ovarian cancer awareness organization “Most new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed at Stage 3 or later, meaning the cancer has already begun to spread to the lymph nodes and outside of the pelvis.”
Lack of early detection and accurate diagnosis is often due to the fact that ovarian cancer symptoms are frequently overlooked, and easily confused with other conditions. In order to bring awareness to ovarian cancer, and provide education about the disease September has been designated as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and the Think Teal movement.
Here is some information about Ovarian Cancer, and ways that you can educate yourself, or spread awareness by participating in the movement:
- 21,980 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year
- 50% of cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women over the age of 63
- 25% of cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women between ages 25 and 54
- 1 in 73 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime
- Ovarian cancer is fifth in cancer deaths among women
- Studies have found that women who have a mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of developing this disease. Women with a family history of breast cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer many also have increased risk.
- Women with the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
One of the prominent problems with the appropriate treatment of ovarian cancer is that in many patients it goes too long without detection. This is because the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to several other medical conditions. The following are common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating, weight loss, or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms such as frequent of urination
Other symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Menstrual changes (such as bleeding between periods)
- Abdominal swelling accompanied by weight loss
According to the American Cancer Society “These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal – for example, they occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms more than 12 times a month, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist.”
Places to Get Additional Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Information and Become Meaningfully Involved
There are several excellent online resources that provide additional information on ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer awareness initiatives.
Learn about ovarian cancer, find out information about treatment and support and discover relevant statistics at the American Cancer Society Website.
Get a comprehensive overview of symptoms, tests, treatments and therapies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus website.
Learn about upcoming awareness initiatives, and how to be involved in the movement at the Ovarian Cancer National Awareness website.
Find out how to take meaningful action or where to find a local chapter at the National Coalition of Ovarian Cancer website.
DocResponse supports the timely, accurate, and effective diagnosis of diseases such as ovarian cancer. Please share with us any additional resources for ovarian cancer awareness, or tell us how your organization is getting involved via the comments below or on social!