A big fear for women, ovarian cancer is the 5th most common type of cancer for women in the world. In fact, this disease is responsible for the maximum number of deaths among women when compared to any other female reproductive organ cancer. Since this ‘silent killer’ is so deadly, it’s important for you to know certain facts related to it so that you’re more aware and can protect yourself from the onset of ovarian cancer.
Here are the 5 most important facts on ovarian cancer you need to know:
Any and every woman is at risk of developing ovarian cancer
You wouldn’t believe that almost 2.5 lakh women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year and nearly 140,000 of them die. In fact, the shocking thing is that unlike most other cancers, both developed and undeveloped countries are almost equally affected by this form of cancer. That’s why it’s vital for you to know about your family history as well as the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer so that you can save yourself from this deadly disease.
You should visit your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Vaginal bleeding, particularly when you’re past menopause.
- Pressure or pain in the area below your stomach and between your hip bones.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- A change in bathroom routine, such as frequent urge to urinate, urinating frequently or having diarrhea or constipation
It’s vital to pay attention to your body and understand what works for you. If you experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or any other symptoms for 5 days or a longer period of time, visit your doctor immediately.
It is difficult to predict early, milder symptoms of ovarian cancer
In their study, researchers have associated the following symptoms with the possibility of ovarian cancer:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Increased or bloating abdominal size
- Frequent need to urinate
- Trouble eating or feeling full before meal time
So if you face any of these signs for over 12 days a month or less than one year, you should ask your physician to perform a detailed ovarian evaluation.
Cancer combines various key risk factors:
- Women having a family history of ovarian cancer may be at an increased risk
- Early start of your period or having a delayed menopause seems to elevate the risk
- Women who have never been pregnant and those who experienced uninterrupted ovulation because of infertility treatments appear to be at greater risk
- Use of talcum powder in the genital area can increase risk
Smoking may also cause a type of ovarian cancer called mucinous ovarian cancer. Giving up on smoking seems to turn around the risk from back to normal.
Early discovery implies a better prognosis
When detected at the early stage, it becomes possible to cure ovarian cancer. The stage 1 and stage 2 ovarian cancers are curable to an extent of 75 to 9 percent of the time, depending upon the cell type and tumor grade.
However, since this cancer happens deep down the pelvic region of the body, it is usually diagnosed in later stages. The cure rate for stage 3 ovarian cancer is almost 25 to 30 percent and for stage 4 it is less than 5 percent.