OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Get the Facts... Know the Signs (Please)
Women have regular mammogram's because they know breast cancer is a risk. They check their blood pressure and cholesterol levels because they are aware of the dangers of heart disease. They check their skin and wear sunscreen because they know about the risk of skin cancer. But what do women really know about the health of their ovaries — and their risk of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women's cancers. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.
Each year, roughly 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Approximately 70% of those women will die in the United States from this deadly cancer if not caught early. 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%. Recent research suggests that together the four symptoms of: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urinary urgency or frequency may be associated with ovarian cancer.
Some of you know that I lost my sister, Katie, in 2010 to ovarian cancer. She lost her 3-year battle with this horrible disease just 9 days after her 57th birthday. Needless to say, I miss her so much.
Prior to (finally) being diagnosed with OC, she complained of abdominal and lower back pain for over a year. She was told she had a hernia. No one was willing to dig deeper and dismissed her complaints time after time. When she was finally diagnosed, during a hysterectomy, her cancer had advanced to Stage III. It was in her fallopian tubes, ovaries, and throughout her abdominal cavity.
The surgeon did a complete hysterectomy and cleaned out everything she could from her abdominal cavity. She started aggressive chemo shortly after, with a portacath placed directly into her abdomen and another in her chest. She went through several chemo cocktails over the 3 years, one causing her a severe allergic reaction. We almost lost her then. She had a great team of doctors, but they could only do what they could do and use what was available.
I’m sharing this with you because I believe Katie’s life could have turned out differently, been much longer, had she known the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and had the doctors paid more attention to her symptoms. I urge you all to educate yourselves about this deadly disease and help raise awareness by sharing what you learn with your female friends and family. Early diagnosis can make such a difference in the length and quality of your life.
Some of the most common symptoms are somewhat vague and can be symptoms of other issues. I’m not suggesting you run to the doctor every time you have abdominal pain and bloating. I’m asking that you arm yourself with the information contained below, pay attention to your own body, and take notice when something persists or just doesn’t seem right.... and act on it.
You know your body better than anyone. Be an advocate for yourself.
These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
-Pelvic or abdominal pain
-Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
-Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
-Upset stomach or heartburn
-Pain during sex
-Constipation or menstrual changes
(If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician)
Below are just four links you can click on to learn more about this horrible disease that affects so many women.
PLEASE VISIT THESE SITES….
PLEASE READ….. PLEASE SHARE...
A precious life could be saved; perhaps a friend's, a loved one's or even your own.
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Foundation for Women's Cancer
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund