What you don’t know about Ovarian Cancer

by admin on March 11, 2013

ovaian-cancerWhy don’t we hear more about ovarian cancer?  I don’t have an answer.  We hear a lot about lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer – but ovarian cancer? Not much.

There were 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer in the US in the 2009 and an additional 14,600 women died from it. Over the last decade, there has been little improvement in survival rates of ovarian cancer. Some say it’s because unlike early-detected breast or testicular, colon or prostate cancers, most ovarian cancer cases are not discovered before the disease has evolved into its third or fourth stages. This could be because many of the early warning signs are easily missed. There are no tell-tale lumps like with breast cancer.  Instead, the symptoms include bloating, fatigue, indigestion and back pain.  What woman hasn’t experienced these at one time in her life?


Symptoms of Ovaian Cancer include:

  • Pain in the ovaries that may start a dull ache and grows over time.
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Changes in urinary urgency
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and gas
  • Low energy
  • Dull ache in the lower back

The screen tools like mammograms don’t exist for ovarian cancer yet. But research is being done. They have found the genetic markers BRCA1 and 2 account for about 10% of ovarian cancers. And CA-125 blood test can be used to screen post-menopausal women.

Susan Gubar was 63 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Find out more about Ovarian Cancer and her journey.

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