Posted by: 2in10 | 09/23/2011

about ovarian cancer

This summary, a good reminder of the basics, is from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website, www.ovariancancer.org.  I quote:

About ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cancer-related cause of death among women in the U.S. and causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Each year, about 23,000 American women are diagnosed with and about 15,000 women die from ovarian cancer. The majority of cases are not diagnosed until the disease is far advanced and a woman’s survival is compromised. Women and their physicians may not recognize the symptoms early enough, and too often, women who are at high risk are not identified or monitored. In addition, physicians may dismiss or misdiagnose women with the disease as many of the symptoms mimic other less life-threatening problems.

And from the FAQ page:

Does ovarian cancer have symptoms in its early stages?

While the symptoms for ovarian cancer tend to be nonspecific and can mimic nongynecologic conditions, a large national study shows that an overwhelming majority of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer did have symptoms, sometimes even in the early stages. The most common symptoms reported include: abdominal bloating or discomfort; increased abdominal size or clothes that fit tighter around your waist; increased or urgent need to urinate and pelvic pain. Additional signs and symptoms are: Persistent gas, indigestion or nausea; unexplained changes in bowel habits; unexplained weight loss or gain; loss of appetite; feeling full quickly during or after a meal and pain during sexual intercourse; a persistent lack of energy, low back pain and shortness of breath.

I experienced several of these early warning signs over 9-12 months before being diagnosed, when my symptoms had progressed until they couldn’t be ignored any more — by me or my doctors. Forewarned is fore-armed. You have probably heard these symptoms before but it’s good to have a refresher.

Be well, and enjoy these waning days on the other side of the equinox.

Carolyn

 

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