Ovarian Cancer Basics:
Did You Know?
- Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of the gynecological cancers.
- Ovarian cancer occurs in 1 in 55 women at any age.
- This year, 23,100 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 14,000 women will die.
- Detected early and treated properly, more than 90% of women survive longer than 5 years.
- Pap tests RARELY detect ovarian cancer.
What Should You Look For?
See a health care professional if any of these symptoms persist and are unusual for you:
- Abdominal pressure, bloating, or discomfort.
- Nausea, indigestion, or gas.
- Urinary frequency, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Abnormal bleeding.
- Unusual fatigue.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain.
- Shortness of breath.
What Are The Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
- Other symptoms may be:
- Back pain
- Heartburn or upset stomach
- Pain during sex
- Constipation or menstrual changes
Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but some are at higher risk:
- Family or personal history of ovarian, breast or colon cancer.
- Not bearing children.
- Increasing age.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
- Oral contraceptives.
- Pregnancy and breast feeding.
- Tubal ligation.
- Removal of the ovaries.
What Can You Do To Detect Ovarian Cancer?
Until a screening test is found, here is what you can do:
- Have an annual vaginal/rectal pelvic exam.
- If you have symptoms or are at high risk, ask for a transvaginal ultrasound and a CA125 blood test.
- If ovarian cancer is suspected, consult a gynecologic oncologist - a specialist in treating gynecologic cancers. For referral in your area, call the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation at 1-800-444-444.
For specific articles and a more in depth analysis on ovarian cancer, please visit The National Cancer Institute or The American Cancer Society