Ovarian Cancer: Know your body. Know the symptoms. Spread the word.
We're all familiar with the pink ribbon symbolizing Breast Cancer awareness. But did you know there's a teal ribbon as well? I've just found out that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Why am I blogging about it? Because I've found out that lack of awareness is one of the two main factors contibuting to the late diagnosis of this "silent killer". So join me and help spread the word:
* According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, about 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with the disease -- and about 15,000 women will die from it.
* The statistics look bleak. Many women don't seek help until the disease has begun to spread -- approximately 75 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond the ovary. And the overall five-year survival rate is 46%.
* Early detection is key. If detected at its earliest stage, before the cancer has spread, the 5 year survival rate is more than 93%. But currently only 19% of cases are diagnosed at this stage.
* There are no routine screening tests for ovarian cancer (Pap smears test for cervical cancer). However, recent research suggests that together the 4 symptoms of bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urinary urgency or frequency may be associated with ovarian cancer.
Visit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance's website for more information about symptoms and early detection.