Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious cancers affecting women. In the United States, an estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed every year with this disease and approximately 14,250 will die because of it. This type of cancer usually affects women who are in their fifties and sixties, and who typically have a family history of the disease. When the disease is detected early, the five year survival rate is approximately 92%.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, and constipation
• Abdominal and pelvic pain
• Frequent Urination with urgency
When a physician suspects ovarian cancer, they will perform certain tests to confirm the diagnosis. The exam will include a blood test for the CA-125 genetic marker, an examination of the abdomen to see if there is tenderness, a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and a biopsy.
There are four main stages of ovarian cancer:
. Stage I – completely confined to one or both ovaries.
. Stage II – Found in one or both ovaries with spread to other pelvic organs (bladder, colon, rectum, uterus).
. Stage III – Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to the lining of the abdomen and/or the lymph nodes.
. Stage IV – Most advanced stage of the disease with spread to additional organs such as liver and lung.
Treatment options for ovarian cancer include chemotherapy, surgical removal of the affected organ(s), hormone therapy, and radiation. The type of treatment will be determined by the type of ovarian cancer, the age of the patient, and the stage of the disease.
Remember that early detection is important and just may save your life. All women should see their OB/GYN once a year for a pelvic exam. If you would like to make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, please call 718-291-3276.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.