What you need to know.
Ovarian cancer is called the “Silent Killer” because it is difficult to diagnose early, and because it often does not manifest any symptoms, especially in the early stages. Ovarian cancer is expected to affect more than 20,000 new women in the United States in 2006 alone. This number has decreased slightly in recent years. However, we continue to see nearly 15,000 women die each year from this disease.
What are the Symptoms?
Bloating that is persistent
Eating less and feeling fuller
Trouble with your bladder & bowels
The absence of symptoms with early ovarian cancer is the main reason that more than 70% of women are diagnosed with advanced stage disease. Additionally, there is no reliable screening test for ovarian cancer.
How is it diagnosed?
There a number of tests and procedures that may be used to diagnose ovarian cancer, including a pelvic exam; imaging tests, such as transvaginal ultrasound, CT, MRI, or PET scan; and blood tests, such as CA-125.
In most cases, ovarian cancer is not detected during routine pelvic exams, unless the doctor notes that the ovary is enlarged. The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better a woman's chance for survival. It is important to know that early stage symptoms can be difficult to detect, though are not always silent. As a result, it is important that women listen to their bodies
Did You Know?
The Pap test does not detect ovarian cancer. It determines cervical cancer.
When you've been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your doctor will work with you to decide what treatment is right for you.
"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell."
— Lance Armstrong