By Faby Myra

Raise awareness of ovarian cancer

Did you know Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women?

A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 78. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 108.

3 types of ovarian cancer:

Epithelial ovarian cancer, Stromal tumors, and Germ cell tumors.

Epithelial is the most common and while stromal and germ cells are rare, they occur at a younger age. The most common treatment is chemotherapy and surgery.

 How to detect ovarian cancer early

Only about 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. When ovarian cancer is found early, about 94% of patients live longer than 5 years after diagnosis. A women's regular health exam can help detect ovarian cancer. The doctor should feel the area for anything abnormal in terms of shape and size. A pap smear can help detect ovarian cancer, but only at its advanced stage.

Symptoms include:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain or cramping
  • Feeling full quickly after starting to eat or lack of appetite
  • Indigestion or upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Feeling like you have to urinate more frequently or urgently than normal
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Bloating and/or constipation
  • Increase abdominal girth or abdominal swelling
  • Pain while having sex
  • Unexplained pain while having sexual intercourse can be a warning symptom of ovarian cancer.
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing

Note: don’t forget to talk to your doctor if you’ve any concerns.

***Some services that can help with ovarian cancer include but are not limited to: Transitions of care, chronic disease management, and companionship care.