KNOW THE SIGN AND SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER
More than 20,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. Unfortunately, because most ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when the disease has already spread beyond the ovaries, nearly 16,000 will lose their lives. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer related deaths in women.
The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer, if caught in early or in stage one, is 90 percent. If detected in an advanced stage (three or four), that survival rate drops to 15-20 percent. Currently, there is no reliable screening test for ovarian cancer, but because early diagnosis is so important, women should be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of this cancer and consult their healthcare providers if they are at risk or notice any changes that may be signs of the disease.
Factors that may increase the likelihood of getting ovarian cancer include:
While early cancer of the ovaries tends to cause symptoms that are relatively vague, women who experience any of these symptoms should consult their healthcare providers:
In addition to being aware of the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer, all women should speak with their healthcare providers about this disease and have an annual vaginal exam after the age 18.