What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer

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Ovarian cancer is regarded as any cancerous growth which occurs in the ovary. Most ovarian cancers begin in the outer lining of the ovary, but research has shown that many of these cancers also originate in the fallopian tubes.

According to the American Cancer Society, it is the eighth most common cancer among women in the US, with the death rate outstripping other gynaecological cancers such as uterine and cervical.

It is estimated that out of about 22,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer  annually in the US, around 14,000 of them will die. This means that less than 50% will survive the five year mark. However, according to the International Cancer Institute, early diagnosis, before the tumour has spread, increases the five year survival rate up to 94%.

Why is there a delay in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer?

It is a sad fact that in the early stages, ovarian cancer usually has very few symptoms, and in many cases, no distinctive symptoms at all. What symptoms may be present, are often confused with other gynaecological conditions such as PMS, irritable bowel syndrome, or a mild bladder problem. Here are other possible early symptoms which you should have checked out:

  • Pain in the pelvis or on the lower side of the body.
  • Back pain, and pain in the lower part of the stomach.
  • Unusual chronic indigestion and heartburn.
  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Tiredness, dramatic weight loss, and loss of appetite.

These symptoms may also relate to other disorders, and does not necessarily mean that ovarian cancer is present. The main difference between ovarian cancer symptoms and those of other problems is that the symptoms do not go away with treatment and gradually get worse.

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