Portland, Or. Learn the signs and be proactive about ovarian cancer detection. Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is estimated by the World Health Organization IARC department that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
This cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties with the median age being 63. Many women who are diagnosed with Ovarian cancer have a genetic history that may include carrying the BRCA mutation gene and having a strong family history of ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately many women don’t seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and easily confused with other ailments.
Symptoms may include:
• Pelvic or Abdominal pain
• Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
• Urinary urgency or frequency
Other symptoms may include:
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea
• Extreme fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• Weight Gain
There is no adequate screening test of ovarian cancer at this time which is one of the reasons that this cancer is often discovered in later stages.
The recommendation for a woman with any of these symptoms is that she see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist, if the symptoms are new and unusual and occur more than 12 times during the course of one month. Experts suggest a combination pelvic/rectal exam, CA 125 blood test, and a transvaginal ultrasound.
For more information, here’s a link to the The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington: http://ovariancancerosw.org/
Here’s a video from Brigham and Women’s Hospital:
From The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington:
In early 2002, two ovarian cancer survivors from Vancouver, WA, (Diane O’Connor and Diane Elizondo), met on an online ovarian cancer website.
Both were recovering from the effects of chemotherapy, and both were looking for a way to use their slowly increasing energy toward helping women with this terrible diagnosis. They met in person and started making plans to reach this goal. The plan was to start a local non-profit organization to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer in the health care community, the community at large and to offer support to women with ovarian cancer.
This dream came true: the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington was officially created in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) organization and a partner member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA).
Continuing this work, “the two Diane’s” have found great satisfaction in spreading awareness of ovarian cancer through educating medical professionals and the public, providing support to women and their families, and advocating at the state and federal levels for awareness and research funding.
Thanks to the board of directors, the medical advisory board, and the volunteers and contributors, Diane O’Connor and Diane Elizondo will continue to work hard for the SW Washington and Oregon community.
Receiving a diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be a huge shock. Those of us who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have sought treatment want to be available for newly diagnosed women. It might be an e-mail, a phone call, or meeting in person. Please contact us at our toll-free number 877-682-2679 or by email at [email protected].
Thanks for the story! Remember, the PAP is not a test for ovarian cancer. Knowing the symptoms is vital!