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What You Need to Know About Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian cancer is a serious disease and is too often not caught in time. Left unchecked, this disease has the potential to become aggressive and deadly. It can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms vary depending on the type and stage of cancer. Awareness of ovarian cancer is an important topic in women’s health. Spreading information can help other women become aware of the symptoms and increase the likelihood of catching the signs early.

The 5th leading cause of cancer related death in women ages 35-74, ovarian cancer is estimated to affect 1 woman out of 78 during their lifetime.

Did you know?

The Pap test can detect cervical cancer, but NOT detect ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer has a five-year survival rate of over 90% in the earliest stages, but that drops to 28% if it is caught late. The symptoms are not specific and there are no early detection tests; this means most cases are found during stage III or higher.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are usually not recognized until the disease becomes advanced and has begun to spread. This is why it’s important to watch for any persistent signs or symptoms, as they could be a sign that something serious may be happening.

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often

Other Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer Can Include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or menstrual changes

Persistent symptoms that do not resolve with normal interventions should be a red flag for ovarian cancer. Early detection is the best defense against this silent killer, which can too often go undetected due to vague or elusive signs and symptoms.

Early Detection Saves Lives

The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better a woman’s chance is for survival.

The best way to detect ovarian cancer early is by being aware of the symptoms – these can be difficult to notice, but not always silent. Over time, they can become more noticeable and it’s important that you listen to your body and watch for signs of early stage symptoms.

Schedule an appointment with your provider if you have persistent symptoms that are affecting your daily life.

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