Friday, May 8, 2015

Today May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day

Please join me to help raise awareness for ovarian cancer by putting on some teal and most importantly, share the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer with at least five women.

Ovarian cancer has been called the "Silent Killer" because the symptoms are so ambiguous that it is often not diagnosed until it is already late-stage, and has metastasized. I myself was not diagnosed until I developed full blown ascites. In hindsight I had all of the classic symptoms, but they didn't scream at me "You've got cancer, see a doctor!"

Instead they whispered. I ignored them or made excuses because frankly, until I developed ascites, I never felt sick. There was no pain, no lumps, no unusual bleeding or other things you associate with cancer.


Ovarian Cancer Signs and Symptoms

There is no screening method for early detection for ovarian cancer. The symptoms of the disease are vague, and are not always gynecologic. But research shows that women with ovarian cancer often report having the following symptoms:
    • A swollen or bloated abdomen, increased girth. Some women notice that their pants or skirts are getting tight around the waist. The bloating is a sign that fluid, called ascites, is building up in the abdominal cavity in later stage disease

    • Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis

    • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

    • Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency

    • Change in bowel habits with new onset constipation and/or diarrhea

    • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
    • These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal − for example, they occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms more than 12 times a month, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
  Thank you for helping to raise awareness!

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