Decker Background

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

This is a direct copy of an e-mail that I recently received from my hubby's sister, Donna.  Their mom (my mother-in-law) was diagnosed with Stage IV and battled the disease for 4+ years until sadly, she passed away in April 2006.  I want to pass this along because it is important and something that all women and men should know.

"Please read all the way through and forward to everyone you know, men included, all men know at least one woman!  Few cancers are as sneaky as ovarian cancer.  In it's early stages, the symptoms are vague and often go unrecognized.

OVARIAN whispers, so listen!

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovary. An ovary is one of two small almond shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that produce female hormones and store eggs or germ cells. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of new cancer cases. In women age 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer related deaths. An estimated one woman in 55 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that each year approximately 25,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed and 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer.

Every woman over 35 should undergo an annual recto vaginal exam.  If an irregularity of the ovary is found and/or symptoms are present, further diagnostic testing should be performed, as no one test is conclusive.  These may include a CA-125 blood test and a trans vaginal ultrasound.  No consistently reliable, accurate screening test to detect ovarian cancer exists.  The pap smear DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer.

Be persistent: Time is of the essence.

Risk Factors - 

While the presence of one or more risk factors may increase a woman's chance of getting ovarian cancer, it does not necessarily mean that she will get the disease.  A woman should be extra vigilant in watching for early symptoms.  Risk factors include:

  • Personal or family history of breast, ovarian, endometrial, prostate or colon cancer
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer or syndrome
  • Unexplained infertility, no pregnancies, and no history of birth control usage
  • Use of high dose estrogen for long periods without progesterone may be a risk factor
  • North American or Northern European heritage and/or Ashkenazim Jewish population
  • Living in an industrialized country

Symptoms or potential signs of Ovarian Cancer - 

While the symptoms of ovarian cancer (particularly in the early stages) are often not acute or intense, they are not always silent, they whisper, so listen.  Some ongoing symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort (sometimes vague)
  • Vague, but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection
  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss particularly weight gain in the abdominal region
  • Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
  • Ongoing fatigue with or without back pain
  • Menstrual disorders or pain during intercourse
  • Abnormal postmenopausal bleeding (this symptom is rare and typically occurs during final stages) 

On April 29th, 2006, my mother lost her four years and three month battle with ovarian cancer; she was not quite 64 years old.  Before being diagnosed, she felt tired, bloated, had gained a little weight, and felt a little short of breath when climbing stairs. What woman doesn't feel this way/have these problems sometimes! The final symptom that made her go to the doctor was "abnormal postmenopausal bleeding".  She did not know the symptoms and had no family history! She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, the final stage. Only 25% of women diagnosed at stage 4 live longer than 4 years.  Please help spread the word, don't let your loved one die this horrible death. XOXO Donna/Grace"

Photobucket******* PLEASE pass this information on to every woman you know and be vigilant of the early warning signs.  You might just be saving a life....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...