5 Important Facts Every Woman Should Know For World Ovarian Cancer Day
World Ovarian Cancer Day falls on May 8th every year, and it’s a holiday that not only ha the purpose of helping to raise money to search for a potential cure for this deadly disease but also to raise the public’s awareness about it so women will take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Every single year, over 20,000 ovarian cancer cancers are diagnosed just in the United States and about 13,000 women will die from this disease.
The fatality rate of this disease is so high because it’s difficult to detect, especially during the early stages of the disease when it’s most treatable. Ovarian cancer is a disease that impacts a lot of people all over the world, and that’s why we’ve decided to take the time to highlight the importance of people educating themselves about this disease.
Ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed in its early stages as something else, and so by the time it is diagnosed, it’s often too late to do anything about it. That’s why we feel that patients need to advocate for themselves, so they can help doctors make an earlier diagnosis. Ovarian cancer is treatable in its early stages.
1. Ovarian Cancer Symptoms That Can Present Themselves
Before we begin this section, allow us to say that any abnormal symptoms a person experiences should be a cause for concern and should end up with a visit to a healthcare provider. In other words, if you feel something isn’t right, then you should visit your doctor.
Remember, nothing is trivial when it comes to your health and sometimes things that seem like little things can be signs of something much bigger. With that being said, ovarian cancer does present with some early symptoms. These symptoms can include abdominal pain, frequent urination, feeling full, and bloating.
Other symptoms include irregular vaginal bleeding, fatigue, weight loss or gain, back pain, and constipation. If these symptoms persist for 2 weeks or longer, then a trip to the doctor is warranted. And, if necessary, ask the doctor for additional testing that specifically targets the ovaries to see if abnormalities.
2. Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors For Women To Consider
Every woman should know about their risk factors when it comes to developing ovarian cancer. Approximately 1 out of 80 women will develop ovarian cancer, but approximately 1 out of 4 women that are diagnosed have a family history of this disease.
That’s why it’s important for women to let their doctors know about their complete family history, as much as they can provide, so that their individual risks can be assessed.
3. Some Things May Reduce A Woman’s Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
Although there is no known way for a person to prevent ovarian cancer, there are a few things that are associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer. Using birth control for 5 or more years, having a tubal ligation, hysterectomy, or giving birth are all associated with lower ovarian cancer rates.
As is breastfeeding and the total removal of both ovaries. Of course, a woman should always talk to their doctor because the things we listed may not be appropriate for everyone. For example, while birth control pills do reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, they also increase the risk of breast cancer.
4. Pap Tests Aren’t Designed To Detect Ovarian Cancer
Unfortunately, some people believe that a clean Pap test means that they’ve been cleared of any indication of ovarian cancer and that’s simply not the case. The purpose of a Pap test is to diagnose cervical cancer and it’s not a tool that’s designed to catch early symptoms of ovarian cancer. At this moment, there is no test that will detect ovarian cancer in its early stages.
5. Early Detection Results In Better Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options
When ovarian cancer is caught early, it’s very treatable. When it’s caught during Stage 1, patients have a 5-year survival rate of 93% according to the American Cancer Society. That’s why patients should visit their doctor as soon as they experience any symptoms of this disease.
We think the above 5 points will help people think about ovarian cancer in a different way. As is always the case with any sort of advice of a potential medical nature, we ask that everyone defer to their doctor.
With that being said, we hope that World Ovarian Cancer Day is only the beginning of society’s journey toward eventually eradicating this disease once and for all. Until we meet again, we sincerely hope that everyone reading this right now is leading a happy, healthy life and will continue to do so well into the future.