My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life - Olivia Newton-John
Because its initial symptoms are mild, often attributed to other causes and there is no specific diagnostic test, ovarian cancer is not easily diagnosed.
There is an 85-93% survival rate if ovarian cancer is diagnosed at Stage I - contained within the ovary (or ovaries) but less than 20% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at a early stage. Instead, about 75% of all ovarian cancers are diagnosed after the cancer has spread from the ovaries to other parts of the body, dramatically reducing survival rates.
A 2004 study of women with ovarian cancer discovered that crampy abdominal pain and urinary urgency, frequency or incontinence were the most commonly documented symptoms in women who had Stage I and II ovarian cancer. These rather non-specific symptoms are often shrugged off or attributed to something else. Common misdiagnoses include irritable bowel syndrome, stress and depression.
So how do you pinpoint when your abdominal cramps are simple constipation or a passing virus versus early cancer? The key seems to be recognizing whether the symptoms continue or get worse. With most digestive disorders, symptoms tend to come and go, or they occur in certain situations or after eating certain foods.
With ovarian cancer, there's typically little fluctuation — symptoms are constant and gradually worsen. Therefore if you have abdominal symptoms like cramping or urinary symptoms such as frequency or urgency almost daily for more than a few weeks, you should see your doctor, preferably your gynecologist. Prompt medical evaluation may lead to detection at the earliest possible stage of the disease.
Your body is whispering. Listen to it.
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Since its inception in 1995, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) has been committed to raising awareness of ovarian cancer in communities across the country and to providing education, support and hope for women with ovarian cancer and their families.
Gilda Radner | Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry
We are an international registry of families with two or more relatives with ovarian cancer. In addition to ovarian cancer research, the Registry offers an 1-800-OVARIAN Hotline, Newsletter, and ovarian cancer informational pamphlets.
Ovarian Cancer Canada
OCC is dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer. We provide leadership by supporting women living with the disease and their families, raising awareness, and funding research to develop early detection techniques, improved treatment and ultimately a cure.
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
In September 1997, leaders from seven ovarian cancer groups joined forces to form the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Their primary goal was to establish a coordinated national effort to place ovarian cancer education, policy and research issues prominently on the agendas of national policy makers and women's health care leaders.
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
The mission of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is to fund research to find a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.
In support of our mission, we help patients and their loved ones understand the disease and its treatment, and provide outreach programs to raise public awareness.
Ovations | For the Cure of Ovarian Cancer
Ovations for the Cure, Inc. is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of a cure for ovarian cancer in three critical ways. First, we provide critical funding of new and ongoing ovarian cancer research and treatment initiatives. Second, the organization actively increases the awareness of the subtle signs and symptoms of this silent disease. Third, we give hope, education and comfort to those currently battling ovarian cancer through our patient programs.
OvCa.net | Ovarian Cancer Network
Focused on providing ovarian cancer warriors the opportunity to arm themselves and their loved ones with resources, information, and hope.
CDC | Ovarian Cancer
CDC enhances the growing knowledge about ovarian cancer by initiating research projects with partners, colleagues, and national organizations to help identify factors related to early detection of the disease, treatment, and survivorship.
CONVERSATIONS | The International Ovarian Cancer Connection
An organization for the support of those fighting ovarian cancer and other related illnesses. It functions on the national and international level to increase public and professional awareness and understanding of ovarian cancer and related illnesses.
Lioceans | Promoting Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Our group is comprised of women living with Ovarian & Gynecological cancers, from the newly diagnosed to the long-term survivor. Our mission is to promote education, advocacy, networking and support to our community thereby improving the life of women on Long Island.
MD Anderson Cancer Center | Ovarian Cancer
Each year, about 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often common and vague, which makes it difficult to diagnose.
MedicineNet.com | Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women in the U.S. with over 25,000 women newly diagnosed each year with this disease.
MedLine Plus | Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer usually happens in women over age 50, but it can also affect younger women. Its cause is unknown. Ovarian cancer is hard to detect early.
NCI | Ovarian Cancer
Information about ovarian cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and vaccine therapy
Oncolink | Abramson Cancer Center
Ovarian cancer develops when cells in the ovaries begin to grow in an uncontrolled fashion and then invade nearby tissues or spread throughout the body.
Share | Cancer Support
SHARE provides participants with the opportunity to receive and exchange information, support, strength, and hope. We focus on empowerment, education, and advocacy activities.
The Lynne Cohen Foundation | Ovarian Cancer Research
The Lynne Cohen Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research is an organization created in memory of a woman who dedicated her life to the well-being of others. Our mission is to continue her spirit of giving by supporting groundbreaking research to improve the survival rates for women with ovarian cancer.