Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, more than 21,000 women will be diagnosed with this disease and nearly 14,000 will die from it in the U.S. alone. But, if it’s detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%. That’s why, in honor of September being National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to know the nine warning signs of this disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be persistent and worsen with time. These can include:
– Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
– Pelvic discomfort or pain
– Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
– Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
– Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
– Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
– Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
– A persistent lack of energy
– Low back pain
Ovarian cancer can strike a woman of any race or at any age, but there are also certain risk factors that may increase a woman’s chance of developing this cancer, including:
– Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
– Personal history of cancer
– Women over the age of 55
– Women who were never pregnant
– Women on menopausal hormone replacement therapy
As with any unusual health symptoms, contact your doctor if you experience any of the above warning signs for ovarian cancer. Also, if you have a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, the Mayo Clinic suggests that you talk to your doctor about your risk and possible genetic testing for certain gene mutations.
Let’s save more lives!