Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration are some of the age-related diseases that come to mind. However, a person’s risk of developing certain cancers increases as he or she gets older, and that includes ovarian cancer. In fact, it is estimated that 90 percent of the women with ovarian cancer are over the age of 40. Fifty percent of these women are over the age of 63.
It is estimated that 14,000 women die due to ovarian cancer each year. However, patients are able to live a longer, healthier life thanks to treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer?
Unfortunately, many women are not diagnosed with ovarian cancer until they are in the latter stages. A healthcare professional may not be able to detect the signs of ovarian cancer during a pelvic examination. A pap smear also does not detect ovarian cancer.
Women may not notice any signs while they are in the early stages of ovarian cancer. If she does notice any symptoms, then she is likely to attribute them to another condition. The Center For Disease Control and Salus Homecare recommend that women pay close attention to their bodies and report any unusual symptoms to their physician. Here are some of the symptoms you should look out for:
- Back pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Quickly getting full after eating
- Frequent urination
- Changes in bowel habits
Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer
Any woman with ovaries can get ovarian cancer. However, there are some women who are at a greater risk for it than others. Below is a list of some of the ovarian cancer risk factors:
- A personal history of colon, breast or uterine cancer
- Family history of uterine, breast, cervical or ovarian cancer-Inherited genetic mutations can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Being older
- Never having children or having the first child after the age of 35
- Using fertility drugs
- A personal history of endometriosis
Even if a woman has one or more of these risk factors, it does not necessarily mean that she will get ovarian cancer. However, a woman should discuss her ovarian cancer risk with her physician.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
There are things women can do to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer. Living a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising and eating right, can cut the risk of ovarian cancer. Women who have a family history of ovarian, colon or breast cancer should discuss this with their physician.
In some cases, healthcare providers recommend genetic testing. Genetic testing can show whether a woman has a genetic mutation that increases the risk of ovarian cancer. A physician may recommend that a woman have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in order to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
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