September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer is one of the most serious cancers affecting women. In the United States an estimated 22,000 annually women will be diagnosed with this disease and approximately      14,250 will die as a result of it. This type of cancer typically affects women who are in their fifties and sixties, and frequently have a family history of the disease. When the disease is detected early, the five year survival rate is above 93%.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
• Bloating
• Nausea, indigestion, gas, and constipation
• Abdominal and pelvic pain
• Fatigue
• Backaches
• Urinary frequency and 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 marker, 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
The three main types of ovarian cancer are: epithelial cell tumors (most common), Germ cell tumors and Stromal cell tumors.  When these tumors are benign they never spread beyond the ovary. When they are malignant these tumors can spread to parts of the body beyond the pelvis and be fatal.
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.
Early detection is important and women should have an annual gynecological exam once a year. If you would like to make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center, please call 718-291-3276.Ovarian Cancer

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.