Ovarian Cancer, often called “The Silent Killer,”  is one of the most deadly cancers in women.  According to the American Cancer Society  only 20-30 percent of women diagnosed with late stage Ovarian Cancer are alive 5 years later.   That means 70-80% of these women died. Think of it this way: if there are 10 women  with ovarian cancer in the room only 2 or 3 of them will be alive in five years.   Why? There are no good routine screening tests for  early or late detection of ovarian cancer. It is usually found at a very advanced stage due to the fact that there are few symptoms that draw a womanís attention to the fact that something is wrong.  Symptoms can be vague and mild.  A woman may have a feeling of  lower abdominal bloating or a feeling of fullness or mild congestion in the pelvis, both of which can feel just like menstrual symptoms or bowel sluggishness.

Be Proactive.  Do not wait.  Ovarian cancer kills.   If you have a new  or unusual symptom, if the symptom persists for more than two weeks, do not ignore them.  See  your doctor and get a complete pelvic exam. Do not let any doctor tell you that your symptoms are too mild to be taken seriously.  Unfortunately,in the age of managed care and 6-10 minute office visits some doctors will be dismissive and will not perform a very thorough and meticulous exam.  Do not let a doctor tell you that you have inflammatory bowel syndrome or  digestive problems, that what you are experiencing is typical of menopausal or menstrual symptoms or some other illness or that it is ìnormalî and to come back at a later date. While many women come into doctors offices with abdominal symptoms, every one of us should be taken seriously and have meticulous care.   I say to a doctor who wants to wait, ìWhat if I were your wife, your sister or your mother or grandmother? Would you wait or would you perform a thorough exam today and leave no stone unturned. Please rule out ovarian cancer.?î

Warning signs of ovarian cancer are :

  • The Ten Most Important Warning Signs of Ovarian CancerAbdominal Bloating, Fullness, Pressure
  • Pelvic Pain or Discomfort
  • Increased Frequency of Urination
  • Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly after eating
  • Persistent Gas or Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Low Back Pain
  • Increase in the size of  your abdomen, Clothes fitting tighter around your hips and waist
  • Fatigue
  • Pain with Sexual Activity

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