May 8th each year is International Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day. Ovarian cancer is a disease where some of the cells in one or both ovaries start to grow abnormally and develop into cancer; it is responsible for some 140,000 deaths globally every year.
Each year, about 1400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The average age at diagnosis is 63. It is the eighth most common cancer in women in Australia. Ovarian cancer is more commonly diagnosed in women over 50.
While 9 out of 10 women survive breast cancer five years after diagnosis, only 4 out of 10 women with ovarian cancer will have survived in the same period.
The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition page has put up a Power Wall on their page. At the time of this publication the Powerful Voice movement has reached over 1614870 people.
Join the Power Wall to show your solidarity for the cause:
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, so all women need to be aware of the symptoms. The most commonly reported symptoms for ovarian cancer are:
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
- Abdominal or pelvic (lower tummy) pain
- Feeling full after eating a small amount
- Needing to urinate often or urgently
- Changes in bowel habits
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Lower back pain
- Indigestion or nausea
- Bleeding after menopause or in-between periods
- Pain during sex or bleeding after
It is important to remember all the symptoms mentioned can be caused by other, less serious medical conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, which are persistent and troublesome, you should see your doctor. They will be able to examine you and if necessary, do further tests to find the cause of your problems.
If you are not comfortable with your doctor’s diagnosis or you are still concerned about unexplained persistent symptoms, you should seek a second opinion.
You know your body better than anyone else, so always listen to what your body is saying and trust your instincts.
At the Clarence Valley Independent, we wish to send out our love and thoughts to those suffering or have lost loved ones because of this disease. We stand with you today with our arms and hearts open.
Welcome to tell us your stories through a Letter to the Editor:
Find out more: