Knowing Your Risks and the Symptoms of this deadly cancer are paramount; for more health news and information, please visit HostHealthcare.com
September is the month for teal ribbons to grace the homes, cars, and desks of ovarian cancer survivors, fighters, and those that love them. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness and during this month, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s campaign is focused on resolving the lack of an accurate early detection test, improving earlier awareness of symptoms, and increasing genetic predisposition awareness.
According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), 1 in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer – and 80% of women who are diagnosed are done so in the late stages of the illness, when prognosis is poor. Contrary to popular belief, PAP tests do not detect ovarian cancer, which is the deadliest of all gynecological cancers; they detect cervical cancer.
The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are trouble eating or quickly feeling full, feeling the need to urinate often or urgently, bloating, and pelvic/abdominal pain. Other symptoms include upset stomach and heartburn, pain during sex, constipation, fatigue, and menstrual changes. If symptoms persist more than two weeks and do not subside with conventional treatment (laxatives for constipation, for example), it is recommended that a woman schedule an appointment with her doctor.
The Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer
It’s important to keep in mind that really, all women are at risk for ovarian cancer. Symptoms can be vague, especially in the early stages, but they will become more intense over time. The biggest risk factors include increasing age, infertility, personal and/or family history of ovarian, colon, or breast cancer, and genetic predisposition.
Management Recommendations for Women at Risk
Women should seek genetic counseling if they are at high risk; they may be offered testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are gene mutations that have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. At-risk women should also undergo regular transvaginal ultrasonography screenings, in addition to annual mammography screenings. This is because the gene mutations also increase the risk of breast cancer. In addition, women with Lynch Syndrome, also known as HNPCC Syndrome, should have periodic mammography, colonoscopy, and endometrial biopsy screenings.
Join the NOCC and Host Healthcare in the Fight Against Ovarian Cancer
The NOCC has ample online resources available to help you learn more about ovarian cancer. Host Healthcare is an award-winning travel therapy and travel nurse company; this month, the company is focusing on working to bring about increased awareness of ovarian cancer.
Together, these groups are helping to save lives by making information about the disease more accessible. You can use NOCC’s special hashtag #KnowOvarian and tag friends on social media to become part of this effort!