West Virginia’s Ovarian Cancer Initiative, “Reaching Out”, is operated and directed by the Marshall University School of Medicine for the West Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Program and in conjunction with the Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition.
Ovarian cancer was the sixth leading cause of cancer incidence and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality for women in WV during the years of 1998-2002. Cancer of the ovary was diagnosed at a regional or distant state in 68% of cases during 1999-2003 when the cancer is most difficult to treat.
For more information on WV’s Ovarian Cancer Initiative, please contact Caroline Schlatt at (740) 451-1374.
Ovarian Cancer Statistics
· Approximately 1 out of 71 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her lifetime in the United States (American Cancer Society, 2009).
· If ovarian cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the ovaries, 9 out of 10 women diagnosed will survive longer than five years.
Currently, there is no reliable screening test for the early detection of ovarian cancer. As a result, the majority of cases are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced and has spread to other sites in the abdomen.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Because there is no reliable screening test for ovarian cancer, it is important for women to learn about the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms:
· Pelvic and abdominal pain
· Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
· Frequency or urgency of urination
More symptoms include ongoing fatigue, indigestion, constipation, back pain, menstrual disorders, and pain during intercourse.
These symptoms may be caused by things other than cancer. However, if a woman experiences these symptoms nearly every day for more than a few weeks, she should talk to her doctor or health care provider right away.
Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors
Every woman is at risk for Ovarian Cancer; however, the following factors may increase a woman’s risk of developing Ovarian Cancer.
· Increasing age (55 or older)
· Personal or family history of ovarian, breast, or colon cancer
· Early onset of periods and/or late menopause
· No pregnancies or no birth control use