Ovarian cancer awareness month is a time to honor the victims of ovarian cancer and their families, but also to raise awareness about this often-overlooked disease. Ovarian cancer affects 1 out of every 70 women in the United States; it is the deadliest gynecologic cancer. It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose because symptoms are not always clear and many people who have ovarian cancer experience no symptoms at all until it’s too late. As such, there is an urgent need for early detection methods and more research into prevention tools that might save lives.
Every year, thousands of women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The thing that makes this cancer a deadly one is that there is no early ovarian cancer screening test and women end up getting diagnosed at an advanced stage that proves to be fatal.
Ovarian cancer used to be called a “silent” killer. This is because the early symptoms of this cancer can be difficult to detect. However, ovarian cancer is not silent.
Below is the list of symptoms that could be used as early indicators of possible ovarian cancer.
- abdominal bloating
- pressure or discomfort in the abdomen
- feeling unusually full after a meal
- difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- changes in urinaiton
- back pain
- changes in menstruation
- painful intercourse
“Symptoms may occur in the early stages and every woman should know what they are,” says Dr. Donna McNamara, gynecological oncologist with Hackensack University Medical Center. This is why September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to help women understand the risk and know the signs that can include:
If any of these symptoms are persistent or you experience them more than 12 times per month, make an appointment with your doctor so you can get to the bottom of what’s happening in your body. Diane did and she is now cancer free, beating the odds.