Ovarian Cancer Mortality Rates Improve

Ovarian Cancer has the highest mortality rate among cancers of the female reproductive system; however that statistic may be changing. In the UK, for instance, the five year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in stage one has raised from 21% in the early 1970s to 40% today.

The crucial thing for ovarian cancer is early detection. This increase in survival may be due to the fact that a set of symptoms for ovarian cancer has now been established. The Gynecological Cancer Foundation has identified the following as symptoms for ovarian cancer: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or a feeling of “fullness,” and frequent or urgent urination. For women who experience these symptoms over the course of several weeks, they should consult a gynecologist. Another reason that survival rates for ovarian cancer have improved so significantly is better treatment for the disease.


 These symptoms were compiled by researchers at the University of Washington. According to one of them, Dr. Barbara Goff, "We know that when women are diagnosed in Stage I of the disease, it is 90% curable. Unfortunately, until now, there has been no agreement on common symptoms, allowing women to go undiagnosed, despite visits to the doctor, until it was too late."


It is estimated that this year there will be 15,000 new deaths from ovarian cancer and 22,500 new cases. The reason that ovarian cancer has had the highest mortality rate is because it often went undiagnosed until the later stages. Unlike cervical cancer, their unfortunately is no early screening, so detecting symptoms and regular pelvic exams are essential. In fact, ovarian cancer is often called the “silence killer,” because of the lack of early detection.  Women who should be on the lookout for the symptoms of ovarian cancer are women who have undergone menopause: 8 out of 10 new cases are in women over the age of 50.

 


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