The whole month of September is dedicated to recognizing a specific type of cancer: ovarian cancer. Recognized as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S., females of all ages can benefit from a healthy dose of education and ovarian mindfulness.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly of all women’s cancers. According to official statistics, an estimated 22,880 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. In 2012 alone, almost 15,550 women died from this form of female cancer. Tragically, a bulk of these women could have been saved. If detected in the earliest stages of the disease, the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is well over 93 percent.
The Value of Medical Intervention
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are often blown off or downplayed, as many of them can also indicate the presence of similar diseases or conditions. For this reason, thousands of women don’t visit a doctor or specialist until the cancer has begun to spread throughout the body. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating
- Feeling full quickly
- Urinary urgency or frequency
Giving Seniors a Helping Hand
Knowledge is power and this is certainly true of ovarian cancer. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has been providing education and support for women with ovarian cancer and their families since 1995. Senior caregivers should support and encourage their older loved ones to have regular check-ups with their primary doctor, along with ensuring she receives any other recommended tests for the disease.
Myths about Ovarian Cancer
As with most medical conditions, ovarian cancer has developed its own set of myths and tall-tales. Here’s a look at three debunked ovarian cancer myths that can help to keep female seniors healthy for years to come.
The Pap Screen Tests for Ovarian Cancer
On the contrary, Pap screens are used to detect the presence of cervical cancer. There is not yet a screening test for early detection of ovarian cancer.
Oral Contraceptives Cause Ovarian Cancer
This myth is dead wrong; oral contraceptives create a 40 to 50 percent decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer.
It’s All Genetics
Genetic or hereditary causes of ovarian cancer only make up a mere 5 to 10 percent of the cases diagnosed each year.
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