Awareness Can Save Lives: Be Out Loud
Raising awareness is key to saving lives. HERA is committed to informing women, the people who love them and the doctors who treat them about the symptoms of the disease and what they can do if they suspect ovarian cancer
Speak up. Speak Out. A simple email of the information below will raise awareness. Be a myth buster – make sure all your friends know the symptoms of this disease. It is not a silent killer.
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What You Should Know
Ovarian cancer is not an uncommon disease. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women and kills more women than all the other reproductive cancers combined.
Ninety percent of women who get the disease have no family history.
Ovarian cancer has symptoms, even early stage disease. According to a recent study by Barbara Goff, only 11% of women with early stage disease had no symptoms.
There is no reliable test for ovarian cancer like the Pap smear for cervical cancer or the mammogram for breast cancer. Over 78% of the women diagnosed this year will be diagnosed after the disease has spread when the chance for survival is less than 20%.
When ovarian cancer is caught early, it is highly curable.
Learn the Symptoms. Share the symptoms.
There is no screening method for early detection for ovarian cancer. Pap smears test only for cervical cancer. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and often overlooked, leading to later detection:
- Abdominal swelling or bloating, increased girth
- Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency
- Change in bowel habits with new onset constipation and/or diarrhea
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
Any woman may have these symptoms for reasons not related to ovarian cancer. However, if these symptoms are new and unusual and persist daily for more than two weeks, a woman should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist, and should ask about ovarian cancer. A transvaginal ultrasound and CA125 blood test may be necessary. If ovarian cancer is suspected, see a gynecologic oncologist immediately. (Source: Ovarian Cancer Research Fund)
Click here to learn more about ovarian cancer symptoms.