September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and it is never too late to get educated! Ovarian cancer is more common as your age increases, however it is not impossible to develop the disease earlier in life. You may not know much about the disease, but you should, and we are here to help you out! Check out these facts and get familiar with the signs, symptoms, and other helpful information. The more we know, the better off we all are. So, read up, spread the word, and help a sista out!
FACT 1 // ALL WOMEN ARE AT RISK
Unfortunate, but true. Annually, nearly a quarter of a million women across the globe are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and an astonishing 140,000 women a year lose this battle. Unlike other forms of cancer, ovarian cancer has similar affects on both developing and developed countries, so not one area on the globe has a significantly higher occurrence.
FACT 2// KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Although it may seem pretty obvious, it is super important to know what the symptoms of ovarian cancer are! The more you know, the more likely you are to realize when something is a bit off. Many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are common in other, far less serious health problems, but it always better to be safe than sorry. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, don’t freak, but be sure to head over to your doctor to make sure everything is A-okay!
- Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
- Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently
FACT 3 // EARLY DETECTION IS KEY
Like many other forms of cancer, early detection is extremely important! The earlier that you realize something isn’t quite right, the better chances you have of a full recovery. When detected at an early stage, it is totally possible to keep the nasty cancer cells contained in the ovary. When the spread of these cells is stopped, up to 90% of women are likely to survive for more than five years (the length of time over which survival is normally measured when assessing cancer treatment). That’s good news for us as long as we stay on top of our health!
FACT 4 // OFTEN DIAGNOSED LATE
Now that we know how important it is to catch ovarian cancer early, it is sad to say that often this isn’t the case. Many women mistake the symptoms of ovarian cancer as side effects of their period, menopause, or may just think they are having some weird reaction to a food they ate. This means that it isn’t rare for women to go an extended length of time experiencing these irritating symptoms but brush them off as less serious than they may be. This is why it is SO important to talk to your doctor when you have any sort of irregular symptoms over a period time. A pesky trip to the doctor is way worth it if you are able to catch a serious issue in it’s beginning stages.
FACT 5 // DON’T TRUST THE TEST
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to test for ovarian cancer. Many women believe that a pap test is able to determine the presence of ovarian cancer however this is untrue. Pap tests are only reliable when testing for cervical cancer, making it even more important to be aware of what is going on in our bodies.
Now that you have some basic info, check out the infographic below to soak in even more knowledge. Celebrate Ovarian Cancer Awareness the right way: by getting educated and teaching others! Who knows, your knowledge may save a life someday.