Health

Symptoms Linked to Onset of Ovarian Cancer

June 13, 2007 05:48 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
New findings promise better outcomes for patients through the early diagnosis of a cancer previously thought to strike without warning.

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About 1 in every 55 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the course of her life.

Though it is much less common than breast cancer, which afflicts 1 in 8 women, the mortality rate for ovarian cancer is disproportionately high. In fact, ovarian cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer among women––after lung, breast, colon, and pancreatic forms of the disease.

The problem is that ovarian cancer is normally detected only at an advanced stage, when it has started to spread.

Now doctors for the first time have identified early-stage symptoms: bloating; pelvic or abdominal pain; difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and a frequent or urgent need to urinate.

Women who experience any of these problems every day for two or three weeks should see a gynecologist, if such symptoms are not consistent with their normal state of health.

At present, a mere 19% of cases are diagnosed in time for the cancer to be removed while it is still confined to the ovary. Doctors hope the new recommendations will help improve that figure.

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The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation

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