Many women have heard of ovarian cancer but don’t understand the symptoms, causes, or treatments. Ovarian cancer is a serious health risk that can spread to other parts of the body. It is one of the most common cancers in women, with a risk of 1 in 78.
At Women’s Excellence, we’d like to teach you what you need to know about ovarian cancer.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Having regular health exams can increase the chance of catching ovarian cancer early. American Cancer Society states, “Only about 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. When ovarian cancer is found early, about 94% of patients live longer than five years after diagnosis.” Your doctor can determine anything unusual within your ovaries and uterus during a pelvic exam. The earlier ovarian cancer is found, the better.
There are several signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. The most common symptoms include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms like always feeling like you have to go or having to go often
Ovarian cancer symptoms are similar to symptoms of other issues like period symptoms, urinary tract infections, etc. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms for a more extended period of time, contact us.
How Do I Prevent Ovarian Cancer?
Luckily, there are many ways to prevent ovarian cancer. One prevention tool is using oral contraceptives or birth control pills, especially if taken for several years. Women who took birth control for five or more years have about a 50% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women can also have a tubal ligation (getting your “tubes tied”) or a hysterectomy to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer. While those are both serious surgeries, they can prevent cancer.
Ovarian cancer is a severe health risk. However, by having regular check-ups, knowing the symptoms, and taking preventative measures, you can lower your chances of developing symptoms.