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Study Confirms Existence of Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is commonly referred to as "the silent killer".  But a recent study [Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aug. 2001] confirms what ovarian cancer survivors have long known: that ovarian cancer DOES have symptoms, but they are frequently overlooked, dismissed, or ignored.

Researchers from four leading New York hospitals surveyed women with and without ovarian cancer regarding how often they had various symptoms [such as unusual vaginal bleeding, unusual abdominal pain and lower back pain.]

Nearly all the women with ovarian cancer (93 percent) reported at least one symptom, compared with fewer than half (42 percent) of the healthy women. The study concluded that unusual bloating or fullness, abdominal or back pain, and lack of energy are prominent symptoms in women with ovarian cancer.  Information about these symptoms may make women and health care providers more aware of changes associated with ovarian cancer.

Like breast cancer, if detected early and treated properly, 95 percent of women with ovarian cancer will survive longer than five years. However, due to lack of screening tests and vigilance, more than half of these women will be diagnosed in the late stage when the five-year survival rate is less than 25 percent.  Until there's a test, awareness is best! 

For more information, click here.

Created: 10/12/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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