Monday, 23 February 2009

Ovarian Cancer: Do You Know the Facts?

There is no time like the present to learn all there is to know about ovarian cancer symptoms and prevention. Be sure to share it with a friend!

1. Ovarian cancer symptoms include:

Abdominal bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, and/or feeling of fullness [for more than one day - ignore the yoghurt advert!!!] are all symptoms of ovarian cancer in addition to vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea, and indigestion; unexplained change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea); unexplained weight gain or loss; frequency and/or urgency of urination; unusual fatigue; shortness of breath; and new and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal vaginal bleeding.

2. Risk factors for ovarian cancer include:
A. Inherited gene mutations
B. Under the age of 40 with a personal or family history of breast cancer

All of these factors make you at higher risk than the average woman. Several factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer. Having one or more of these risk factors doesn't mean that you're sure to develop ovarian cancer, but your risk may be higher than that of the average woman.

3. Both breast and ovarian cancer can be caused by gene mutations.
Both breast and ovarian cancer can be caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, or a personal history for either, particularly if diagnosed before age 50, should be aware of increased risk for the other.

4. A prophylactic oopherectomy is:
Prophylactic oopherectomy, or risk reducing salpingo-oopherectomy, is the removal of both ovaries and tubes for prevention of ovarian/tubal cancer in extremely high-risk patients.

5. How is ovarian cancer usually treated?
A. Cytoreductive surgery and surgical staging (removal of ovarian tumours)
B. Chemotherapy
C. Radiation therapy when appropriate

All of the listed options are used to treat ovarian cancer. Treatment for recurrent ovarian cancer must be determined by a gynaecologic oncologist.


  1. I didn't know radiation was ever used for Ovarian cancer, i don't think they do it in the US. Interesting.

    Also, my biggest clue something was wrong both times I was diagnosed... abdominal pain during sex. I don't know how common that is.

  2. I know - I was surprised about the radiation - that's taken from a US site.

    I had abdominal pain during sex before I had the surgery - another symptom to add to the list. What fun...not.


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