Did you know that 2,800 Canadian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and 55 per cent of them die within five years?
Did you also know late diagnosis and misdiagnosis may be part of the reason that it’s the most fatal women’s cancer?
It’s true — and there’s no reliable screening test or vaccine to prevent the disease. With these steps women can be more informed about ovarian cancer, and being informed can help determine if you’re at risk.
Step 1: Know your risk.
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but some are at greater risk than others. Risk is increased in women over 50; women with a family history of ovarian, breast, endometrial, or colorectal cancer; and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
Ovarian cancer is also tied to genes, and that means certain genetic mutations like having BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of developing the disease by up to 60 per cent.
Step 2: Know the symptoms.
Alone, the symptoms of ovarian cancer don’t mean very much. In fact, because the symptoms can signal a variety of conditions, the disease is easily overlooked. The most common symptoms can include bloating, difficulty eating, abdominal discomfort, and change in urinary habits.
Step 3: Talk to your doctor.
If you’re a woman with multiple risk factors for ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor who can assist in determining if you are eligible for genetic screening. Come prepared with a detailed family history.
“Knowing your risk is key,” says Dr. Dianne Miller, head of the gynecologic oncology division at the University of British Columbia. “Genetic testing is important for those at high risk, and talking to your doctor is vital to understanding your options for prevention of this disease.”
Visit www.ovariancanada.org for more facts about ovarian cancer.
Courtesy of: www.newscanada.com