Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Even though ovarian cancer is rare, most women know someone in their life who has been affected. Here at Folsom Ob-Gyn we are committed to helping women understand their risks and address their concerns.

Did you know?

-Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 3% of cancers in women.
-A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in 75.
-Rates are highest in women aged 55-64 years.

(SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Ovary Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD)

Risk factors for Ovarian Cancer

-Genetics: About 25% of women who develop ovarian cancer have a hereditary factor
-Family History: Women with a mother, sister, or grandmother who developed ovarian cancer are at increased risk
-Other types of cancer: Women who have had breast cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer or rectal cancer have an increased risk of ovarian cancer
-Increasing age
-Reproductive history: Research has suggested increased risk for women who start their periods before age 12, enter menopause after age 50, have their first child after age 30 or were never pregnant, or who have history of infertility
-Hormone replacement therapy after menopause for extended period of time

If you would like to know more about genetic counseling or testing, click here.

Symptoms and Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Common symptoms include:

-Pelvic or abdominal pain
-Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly (called “early satiety”)
-Urinary symptoms

The problem is, these are common and somewhat generic symptoms that can be present for other reasons as well. Research suggests women should speak to their doctor if they experience these symptoms more than 12 times in a month and if they are especially new or unusual symptoms for you.

Unfortunately, there is no screening test for ovarian cancer. We do have some lab and imaging studies that can be done but they cannot be used as screening tests the way women can get pap tests for cervical cancer and mammograms to screen for breast cancer. It is important to have a yearly exam with a gynecologist and discuss your history, symptoms, and individual risk factors for ovarian cancer.

For a good resource on ovarian cancer, please visit The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.


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