September is national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian Cancer. Get the Facts
Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadliest of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is estimated by the World Health Organization IARC department that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
Ovarian Cancer is cancer that begins in the ovaries. The ovaries make female hormones and produce a woman’s eggs. Ovarian cancer is a serious cancer that is more common in older women. Treatment is most effective when the cancer is found early.
Unfortunately, many women don’t seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%.
- An estimated 1 woman in 75 will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime
- The Pap test does not detect ovarian cancer
- When diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, 5-year survival rate is over 90%
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments.
Who gets ovarian cancer?
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but older women are more likely to get the disease than younger women. About 90 percent of women who get ovarian cancer are older than 40, with the greatest number of ovarian cancers occurring in women aged 60 years or older. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages. Later stages are associated with symptoms, but they can be non-specific, such as loss of appetite and weight loss.
Symptoms may include:
- Pelvic or Abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary urgency or frequency
Other symptoms may include:
- Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Weight Gain
There is no adequate screening test of ovarian cancer at this time which is one of the reasons that this cancer is often discovered in later stages.
Talk to your doctor if symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks.
To schedule an appointment at Pinehurst Surgical Women’s Care Center, please contact us today at 910-295-0290.
You are your Best Advocate!
For more information on ovarian cancer, call the OWH Helpline at 800-994-9662 or contact the following organizations:
National Cancer Institute
American Cancer Society
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance