ribbon.jpgOvarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadlist of the reproductive cancer - BUT 5 year survival rates are 94 percent if caught early.

Definition of ovarian cancer: Cancer that forms in tissues of the ovary (one of a pair of female reproductive glands in which the ova, or eggs, are formed). Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells). 

Know The Ovarian Cancer Signs
 
It's important that women know the symptoms of ovarian cancer so they can see the doctor in a timely fashion," says Cynthia A. Gelb, director of the CDC's Inside Knowledge campaign, an initiative to educate women about gynecological cancers. If they signal ovarian cancer, any of these symptoms would likely occur as often as 3 times a week over a period of several months to a year.

  • Pain in your pelvis or abdomen
  • A strong or frequent need to urinate
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Difficulty eating or a tendency to feel full quickly 

If you have any of these symptoms in the time frame given above--or you have a family history of reproductive cancer--and suspect ovarian cancer, tell your doctor and ask for an exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, and/or a blood test.
Read the full article at Prevention Magazine

 
kathy_bates.jpg          CarolChanning218.jpg          heather_menzies.jpg
   Kathy Bates                     Carol Channing                  Heather Menzies

Ovarian Cancer survivors. They didn't ignore the warning signs.

Ovarian Cancer Facts

  • 1 in 67 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer
  • 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year
  • 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year

Getting it

  • There is no screening test for ovarian cancer (the pap smear is for diagnosis of cervical cancer)
  • There is no vaccine or other way to prevent ovarian cancer

Risk factors

  • Women who have had breast cancer are at increased risk
  • Women who carry the mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene are at increased risk
  • Women who use estrogen replacement therapy are at increased risk for ovarian cancer
  • Women whose close relatives had ovarian cancer or breast cancer are at increased risk. The younger the relative was when diagnosed, the greater the risk.
  • Long-term use of oral contraceptives greatly reduces a woman's risk of ovarian cancer

 

By the numbers

  • Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological disease and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women
  • Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer die within five years. The five-year survival rate is 45 percent
  • 81 percent of women are diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries
  • If diagnosed before it has spread beyond the ovaries, the five-year survival rate is 94 percent

Ponder this...

  • Women who are treated by a gynecologist who specializes in oncology have a dramatically higher survival rate than those whose surgery is performed by a non-specialized gynecologist
  • Compared to other cancer research, ovarian cancer research is drastically under funded, despite the fact that there have been no significant improvements in recent years

Progression of the disease
One of the keys to surviving ovarian cancer is proper diagnosis, which includes evaluating how advanced the cancer is (commonly called staging). According to experts, it is critically important that ovarian cancer patients be treated by a gynecologic oncologist, rather than a general gynecologist. Gynecological oncologists are skilled specialists at staging ovarian cancer, and their patients have on average better survival rates.

Ovarian cancer stages are:
Stage I - Cancer is limited to one or both ovaries.
Stage II - Cancer has spread to other pelvic structures.
Stage III - Cancer has spread to the abdominal lining and/or lymph nodes.
Stage IV - Cancer has metastasized to the liver or lungs.

Source: National Ovarian Cancer Alliance and the National Institutes of Health

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