8th May 2020 marks Ovarian Cancer Day, which aims to shine a light on one of the most overlooked, underfunded, yet one the most lethal cancers.
Why does awareness matter?
There is currently no routine, simple screening test to accurately detect ovarian cancer - screening for cervical cancer (i.e. a pap smear) will not detect ovarian cancer.
This means that even in developed countries survival rates are only around 36% to 46% - well below that for other cancers, like breast cancer, where five-year survival rates in many countries are close to 90%.
Ovarian cancer can also affect fertility, destroying dreams of motherhood.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Most women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it more difficult to treat, as symptoms are often confused with other illnesses. Common symptoms include: 1. Persistent bloating 2. Difficulty eating 3. Feeling full quickly 4. Pelvic/abdominal pain 5. Urinary symptoms
How do women get diagnosed?
You should speak to your doctor if you have any concerns at all, or any of the persistent symptoms listed above.
The pathway to diagnosis includes:
- Pelvic exam
- Transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound
- CA-125 blood test
How can I help raise awareness?
To bring more awareness to the disease and honour survivors, we ask you to simply share this post with 1 woman in your life.
By sharing, you are helping spread information that could one day save a life. Thank you.
If you would also like to donate to an organization researching to advance the prevention, early detection & treatment of women's reproductive cancers or that provide assistance to women fighting these cancers, please see this list.