Join the movement! Today people from around the world will join together for World Ovarian Cancer Day, marked annually on May 8th, to raise awareness of this serious disease and its symptoms. Ovarian cancer organizations from around the world united for the world’s first Ovarian Cancer Day last year, with the aim of educating their communities about this disease.
Every year nearly a quarter of a million women globally are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the disease causes 140,000 deaths each year. Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all gynecological cancers, and statistics show that just 45% of women are likely to survive for five years after cancer diagnosis in comparison to 89% of women with breast cancer.
In spite of the severity of ovarian cancer, awareness of the symptoms is low and the majority of patients are only diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. Early diagnosis has the potential to improve survival rates and awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer may lead to earlier diagnosis.
A key challenge with ovarian cancer is that the symptoms of the disease are similar to those of less serious illnesses, particularly gastrointestinal complaints. However three main symptoms are more frequent in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer:
• Increased abdominal size and persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
• Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain
• Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly, or feeling nauseous
To read more about these and other symptoms of ovarian cancer click here. Although the symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, if you are experiencing any symptoms of ovarian cancer it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
4 Key Facts on Ovarian Cancer
1. All women are at risk of ovarian cancer; however, 90% of cases occur in those over the age of 45
2. Awareness of the early warning signs of the disease could save lives
3. Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage; however, diagnosis at an early stage vastly improves a woman’s chance of survival
4. Many women mistakenly believe the cervical smear test (Pap test) will detect ovarian cancer, but it will only detect cervical cancer
Find out more about World Ovarian Cancer Day at http://ovariancancerday.org/