What is Ovarian Cancer?
What do Gene Wilder and Pierce Brosnan have in common? They
each lost beloved wives to ovarian cancer and spoke out about the disease.
As a result, women are becoming more aware of ovarian cancer. This is one
of the most difficult cancers to diagnose early and one of the most aggressive
cancers. It will affect more than 25,000 women each year and kill more than
Although the symptoms are vague, most women with ovarian cancer can tell that
something is just not right. Many feel bloated or have constipation. They
may feel pelvic discomfort, particularly during sex. Some women gain weight
from abdominal swelling; they may even look pregnant. General fatigue and malaise
are also common.
There are risk factors for ovarian cancer: women who have a family history
of ovarian cancer or who have never been pregnant are at greatest risk. Other
risks include having had other cancers or even a family history of certain other
cancers, particularly the hereditary forms of breast cancer. Good news in the
prevention department comes from research showing that taking birth control
pills for five or more years can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by nearly
60%! This benefit persists for 15 years after stopping the Pill. Spending
more months pregnant and nursing also lowers your risk of ovarian cancer. .
.but this is not a recommended preventive course!
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Created: 11/6/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.