There’s a bad word in this article. No, it’s not a four-letter word, nor is it an offensive word. But it’s a word that when spoken can cause such pain to the listener, and it’s being mentioned can mean that your life will never be the same: Cancer! Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with this pervasive illness? Or has this enemy claimed the life of a loved one?
If so, you know full well the harm that cancer can cause. While with other “bad words,” we tell our children never to speak them or listen to them, such should not be the case with cancer. By educating ourselves and our loved ones about cancer and its early detection and treatment, we may be able to lessen the damage it can cause in our lives.
Among the kinds of cancer that need to be talked about is ovarian cancer. It is the fifth most common cancer among women. Ovarian cancer is most common among women who have already experienced menopause, but it can affect a woman of any age. Early ovarian cancer symptoms are often confused with other conditions and include: constant bloating, pelvic and lower stomach pain, frequent urination, unusual vaginal bleeding, feeling full quickly when eating, and leg or back pain.
Of the three forms of ovarian cancer, the most common form, known as epithelial ovarian cancer affects the surface layer of the ovaries.
No matter what form ovarian cancer takes, early detection is the key to success. Among women who have ovarian cancer, 90% of those who began treatments while in early stage one of the disease were still alive after 5 years. Unfortunately, early detection is not as easy as we wish it could be. What are tests that can help detect ovarian cancer? They include X-rays, a pelvic exam, a special blood test, ultrasound, and a biopsy of the ovary. Often cysts found on ovaries during an exam are tested to determine if they are cancerous.
While detecting ovarian cancer is not as easy as we would wish it to be, there are researchers constantly working of finding better methods of detection so that treatments can begin as soon as possible. Cancer is a scary word to hear, but by getting regular check-ups, being in-tune to changes in your body, and not ignoring warning symptoms you too may avoid being a casualty.