September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and we wanted to join countless others in leading the charge to promote awareness and preparedness. Some important facts:
Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer, as few symptoms present in the early stages of the disease. What’s worse, late stage symptoms can be explained away by other far more frequently occurring and innocuous conditions. With detection a challenge and late-stage survival rates alarmingly low, self-awareness, education, and ongoing communication with a caring, progressive OB/GYN are your best defense.
The appearance of ovarian cancer cannot be attributed easily; however, observational studies show that certain factors such as age, genetics and family history, use of IVF or hormone replacement therapy, and a lack of pregnancy before the age of 35 may increase a woman’s risk. With these and other risk factors at play, talk to your doctor about your specific risks, and schedule your annual pelvic exam today!
If you are at a high risk, initial steps include a complete pelvic examination, imaging tests (Transvaginal Sonography), and most likely a blood test for cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) These tests will provide clarity into your specific diagnosis and, if necessary, shape what happens next—which many include exploratory surgery to define the the presence and stage of the disease. If caught in the early stages, treatment typically includes surgical removal of the ovaries and nearby reproductive organs at risk, followed by chemotherapy to target the blood supply which supports the growth of a tumor.
The good news is that, when the disease is detected and treated early (stage 1), long-term survival for ovarian cancer patients is nearly 95%, so informed vigilance is key, and the better news is that, by reading this, you are already taking steps to protect yourself by staying informed and connected to those who can help!
With so much about this disease unknown, prevention is a challenge. It’s true that you can’t control your age or genetic family history, but you should have hope! Certain factors such as the use of oral birth control, pregnancy, and breastfeeding have been linked with a lower risk of ovarian cancer. But the one preventative measure on which all experts agree is that the most effective prevention combines informed awareness with annual visits to your OB/GYN. Through your awareness and our doctor’s help, your chances of avoiding or overcoming ovarian or pelvic cancer at an early stage increase dramatically.
Start your journey to informed awareness and connect with one of our care center team members to schedule your exam with us today.
Thank you for submitting you information. A member of our team will contact you within 24 hours.