Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Statistics reveal that for every 78 women,1 is likely to have ovarian cancer. The stakes are even more for populations at risk which include women who are 63 years or more, overweight women, or any woman who has a family history of the illness. For instance, if a woman has inherited the BRCA1 gene, she has a risk of 30% to 70%.  In the case of a BRCA2 gene, the risk is lower and between 10% and 30%. These risk factors are not, however, assurance of contracting the illness.

Of all forms of cancers occurring on the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer records the highest number of deaths. It is also ranked as the fifth cancer-causing the highest death of women in general. According to statistics in 2022, approximately 19,880 women receive a new ovarian cancer diagnosis. Additionally, approximately 12,810 women succumb to this illness.  Part of the reason why it’s so deadly is that it is not usually diagnosed until later stages when it becomes more fatal to patients.

Getting to know about ovarian cancer, and understanding possible symptoms is one way to protect yourself. This cancer constitutes abnormal cell growth in a woman s ovaries. Initially, it is small-sized, but it eventually spreads to other regions. There are three types of ovarian cancer: Epithelial ovarian cancer, Sex cord-stromal tumors, and Germ cell tumors. The main difference for the different types is in the areas of the ovary in which they occur. For instance, epithelial ovarian cancer develops on the lining area of the ovary surface while sex cord-stromal tumors occur in the tissue region which links ovaries together. Finally, germ cell tumors are present in the ova which produces eggs.

In checking for the presence of ovarian cancer, some early symptoms include back pain, bloating, pain in the back or pelvic region, pain during sex, and fatigue. Unfortunately, some symptoms can be linked to other conditions, some serious while others are fairly mild. Therefore, it is often difficult for ladies to accurately diagnose their symptoms earlier. However, if detected at an early stage, the disease is often curable.

Women are advised to stay aware of any early-stage symptoms and take the appropriate tests in consultation with their gynecologists so as to stay on top of their health and protect themselves.

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