Despite positive strides in cancer screening and treatment, ovarian cancer continues to be one of the deadliest of cancers. In the majority of cases, ovarian cancer is caught in the later-stages.
When detected early – the survival rate for ovarian cancer patients is as high as 93%.
Early Detection is Key to Surviving Ovarian Cancer
The sooner we detect ovarian cancer, the more effectively it can be treated. In addition to observing annual woman’s wellness checkups – information is key to noting symptoms that could indicate ovarian cancer or that something else is amiss.
Have you had genetic screening?
Genetic screening is increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. Not only can it help couples make better choices about their fertility path, the results of genetic screening allows individuals to take proactive measures to prevent disease. This information should be shared with general physicians and specialists so personalized examination and/or testing is performed.
Ovarian cancer runs in families, and the combination of the BRCA mutation gene and a family history of ovarian cancer increases your risk of getting it. It’s worth getting screened if you’re aware of family members who’ve had ovarian cancer or whose undiagnosed cause of death was preceded by ovarian cancer-like symptoms. Genetic screening is affordable and is often partially- or full-covered by health insurance carriers.
Know the symptoms and risk factors for ovarian cancer
Running through this list of symptoms and risk factors for ovarian cancer enables you to pay attention to “red flags” that give you pause. DO pay attention to your body and schedule an appointment with your gynecologist if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Pelvic pain or discomfort
- Urinary urgency or increasing frequency
- Difficulty eating or feeling full more quickly than normal
Other signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Nausea, gas, indigestion and diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive fatigue or feeling tired faster than normal
- Unexplainable weight gain
It’s true that the majority of these symptoms seem general, but all are worth looking into. We’d much rather tell you that there’s nothing to worry about, than have you come in months later to find out you could have been treated all this time.
Risk factors that contribute to ovarian cancer
Certain risk factors make you more prone to developing ovarian cancer. In addition to genetics, ovarian cancer is a greater risk for women who:
- Have a family history of breast cancer
- Are over the age of 50
- Have never been pregnant
- Use(d) certain types of estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy, particularly in larger doses and/or for extended periods of time.
- Started their period before 12-years old and/or began menopause after age 52-years old
- Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
The more honest, up-front and detailed you are with your OB/GYN, the better chance we have to monitor and detect ovarian cancer as soon as possible.
Overdue for your women’s wellness check? Schedule an appointment here at Overlake.