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Monday, October 2, 2017

Commonly Missed Signs Of Ovarian Cancer That Require A Doctor’s Attention In case ??

Every year, about 21,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, making it the 10th most common cancer among women in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer, but when it’s found early, treatment works best.

Ovarian cancer often causes signs and symptoms, although they can be very subtle. That is why it is important to know your own body and what is normal for you, so you can recognize when something may be wrong. Symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional.

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is one of the five main types of gynecologic cancers. The others are cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar.

Ovarian cancer is a group of diseases that start in the ovaries, or in the related areas of the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum. Women have two ovaries that are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.

The ovaries make female hormones and produce eggs. Women have two fallopian tubes – a pair of long, slender tubes on each side of the uterus. Eggs pass from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. The peritoneum is the tissue lining that covers organs in the abdomen.

Who Is At Risk For Ovarian Cancer?

Any woman can get ovarian cancer.  Most often it occurs in older women.  According to the CDC, about 90% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 40 years old or older, with the greatest number being 60 or older.

Aside from age, other things that may increase your risk for ovarian cancer include: if you have had breast, uterine, or colorectal cancer, or endometriosis; if you are of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background; or if you have a close family member who had ovarian cancer.

What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Ovarian Cancer?

While there is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, several things may help reduce a woman’s risk.

For instance – women who give birth; women who breastfeed for a year or more; those who have used birth control pills for 5 or more years; and women who have had their tubes tied (tubal ligation) or their ovaries removed – may have a lower chance of getting ovarian cancer.

While these individual things may help reduce the chance of getting ovarian cancer, they are not guaranteed to eliminate your chance of developing the disease.  Also, they are not recommended for everybody, and risks and benefits are associated with each.

How Can I Tell If I Have Ovarian Cancer?

First, it’s important to know your body and what’s normal for you.  That helps you recognize anything unusual so you can track how long it goes on.  If you notice anything unusual and it goes on for two weeks or longer, see a doctor.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include one or more of the following:  vaginal bleeding and discharge, pain and pressure in the pelvic or abdominal area, bloating, difficulty eating, back pain, and a more frequent and urgent need to urinate.  Signs and symptoms are not the same for everyone.

If you have unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, see a doctor right away.  If you are experiencing one or more of the other symptoms and it goes on for two weeks or longer, it’s important to see your doctor. The earlier you catch ovarian cancer, the easier it is to treat.

Remember – don’t panic!  These symptoms are often caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see a doctor.

What Are My Options If I'm Diagnosed?

Thanks to modern medicine, there are several treatment methods for ovarian cancer.

If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the first thing you should do is seek the help of a gynecologic oncologist, who is trained to treat ovarian cancer. From there, you and your doctor will figure out the best treatment options for you.

Treatment may include surgery, in which the doctors remove any affected tissue, and chemotherapy to help shrink and kill cancer cells.

To learn more about ovarian cancer, check out CDC’s Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer campaign.  And talk to your doctor about any concerns or symptoms you have.


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