September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), all women are at risk and the disease will affect approximately one in every seventy-one women. The survival rate for an early diagnosis of ovarian cancer is approximately 90%, but the disease is often diagnosed in a much later stage. Unfortunately, there is not a single diagnostic test to confirm the disease, and early signs and symptoms are often vague.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include any of the following: bloating, pelvic pain, feeling full quickly after eating or drinking, and urinary frequency. Additionally, fatigue, upset stomach, back pain ,constipation, and menstrual changes can also be symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. Because these signs and symptoms are so vague, and may represent a variety of illnesses, women are encouraged to discuss such findings with their doctor, if the symptoms are unexplainable and last more than 2 weeks.
This year alone, over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and an estimated 14, 000 will die from the disease. Knowing the signs and symptoms, and consulting your healthcare provider immediately, is of paramount importance for early diagnosis and treatment. For additional information on ovarian cancer, diagnosis, treatment options and more, visit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, or call them at 1-888-OVARIAN.