Many cancers have strong recognition around them in the form of events, awareness months, and lots of financial donors. You definitely know that breast cancer awareness month is in October, when donations pour in and social media hashtags #BreastCancerAwareness go wild and the color pink dominates your social network pages. And that’s amazing!! There should be that level of awareness for all cancers. There’s another female-only cancer that gets a little less attention – ovarian cancer.
So, we decided to talk a little about ovarian cancer in this article so you can share it with your family and friends, helping them be more in-the-know.
Ovarian cancer can be difficult to identify and diagnose. There are several tests to detect the cancer, like pelvic exams, ultrasounds or CT scans, and blood tests to detect proteins found in ovarian cancer cells. Typically, surgery is the only way to confirm the extent of ovarian cancer within the individual.
Since ovarian cancer doesn’t get as much attention as other cancers, it may not even occur to women to ask their doctors about exams that could be life-saving. Compounded with the fact that there aren’t many symptoms of the cancer until it starts to spread (and even then, the symptoms are not specific – like abdominal pain and feeling full quickly) – it seems to slip under the radar.
Due to the lack of highly-accurate early detection tests, only about 20% of women with ovarian cancer are detected in stage I or II. The rest are detected later, when it’s much harder to treat, and about 28% of those women survive. So 80% of women diagnosed have only a 28% chance of living through treatment.
We can change that! There are so many ways to help. You can donate to causes like the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, groups that are researching better ways to test for the cancer, treat it, and cure it. You can honor Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September (and year-round!) with social media posts. And, you can share this article with your friends and family, and encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor to assess their risk for ovarian cancer.
Make sure to set up annual appointments (minimum!) with your Think Whole Person Healthcare doctor. Regular appointments are a preventative measure that can keep you your heathiest. It’s all about making sure we can do what we love for as long as we can…because Life is for Living!