The List You Can't Afford To Live Without

   By drodriguez  Jul 16, 2007

Over 15,000 deaths from ovarian cancer are expected this year in the United States. Early diagnosis is the key for surviving the disease, but as of right now only 19% of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer catch it in the early stages.

If caught early on before it spreads to other organs, 93% of women will have a prolonged survival of five years (and many beyond that). The problem doctors have had diagnosing ovarian cancer early on is the lack of symptoms women have been thought to have.

Later on this month, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation along with the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and the American Cancer Society plan to formally announce a list of symptoms women should look for and attribute to the possibility that they may have ovarian cancer. Cancer experts and researchers are hoping to dramatically change the way ovarian cancer is diagnosed.

The new early detection symptoms put forth are:

• Bloating
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Feeling full quickly or difficulty eating
• Frequent or urgent urination

Studies have shown that a majority of women who have suffered from ovarian cancer have had many of these symptoms in common during early onset of the illness. The cancer organizations involved in this early detection campaign urge women to see a doctor if they suddenly develop these symptoms and they last more than a couple of weeks.

Experts have made it clear that most of the women who experience these symptoms will not have cancer, but it is important to get checked out. Until there is a cure or better medical screening methods, early detection is the best chance we have at beating this very aggressive form of cancer.

What do you think of the new ovarian cancer early detection symptoms being released by cancer organizations?

Do you think this new campaign for early detection can save lives?

Make a Comment

MSMART by MSMART | dallas, GA
Nov 16, 2007

i agree that the list of symptoms can be for some other problems besides ovarian cancer, but i also agree that there should be standard cancer screening tests that should be part of a physical exam and paid for by your health insurance.

zionita by zionita | NAPLES, FL
Oct 05, 2007

I agree that women's health issue aren't at the irgency , my helth insurance doen't loke to pay for many of these tests and routine tests unless it's a major major isssue.

When will insurance companies pay for women's routine health exams so that all women can get tested without trying to figure out how much they need to sacrifice.

tammy by tammy | Tallahassee, FL
Aug 09, 2007

I believe anything that will raise awareness has the potential to save lives.

kayamnt by kayamnt | Elkridge, MD
Aug 06, 2007

hmmm.. I have brca 1, so I am very concerned about this issue. And though I am happy to have any kind of list-- some of these sound more like my monthly PMS. Hopefully people will also continue to get yearly check ups!

sarahjm222 by sarahjm222 | Goldsboro, NC
Jul 24, 2007

We have to be dilegent about our health. I know that many times when I go in for my annual exam and voice these concerns I am not always taken seriously. If you feel that something isn't right you have to stand up for yourself and do not get intimidated by doctors. You are the only one that knows what is going on with your body.

gingefur by gingefur | Ararat, NC
Jul 20, 2007

It's really difficult to pinpoint the exact symptoms, because these are symptoms to many other disorders. I guess we all need to pay more attention to how we feel, instead of ignoring our bodies. Even the smallest discomfort may be a sign of something more serious. What's a woman to do?

sharman421 by sharman421 | TALLAHASSEE, FL
Jul 19, 2007

I believe there has been a blood test that has been available for years (at one time advertised in a public service announcement after Gilda Radner's death). This test is rarely given, and never on a routine basis as a pap smear and a mammogram are given. I believe the name of the test is C-125 and can detect early onset cancers in women. We, as women, should be pushing our GYNs and insurance companies for this test to be given routinely once a year. Thanks She-speaks for bringing the symptoms into the forefront.

queenbee88 by queenbee88 | Woodbridge, VA
Jul 16, 2007

This is a concern of mine since it runs in my family. I am so grateful and thankful to have such a list! Thanks SheSpeaks for publishing it. I have to say, I am going to get checked soon, as I have some of those symptoms.