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.
The International Newsletter For Those Fighting Ovarian Cancer!
Women with cervical, uterine (endometrial and sarcoma), ovarian, vaginal, vulvar, gestational, and tubal cancer join together to share information and emotional support for living with reproductive cancers.
Force's mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
Welcome to the Johns Hopkins Ovarian Cancer Web site. This site is a collaboration with the late Sean Patrick, and the physicians and scientists of Johns Hopkins. It grew out of a shared passion to improve the quality of information and resources available.
Ovarian cancer is not one disease, with only one treatment. In fact, over 100 types of ovarian tumors have been characterized. The treatment and management of these different types of ovarian tumors differs greatly. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis is critical to obtain the most effective treatment and best advice. This web site is unique because we provide state-of-the-art information for each individual ovarian tumor type, rather than grouping them.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson leads the nation in innovative research into the causes, prevention, detection and treatment of ovarian cancer, including rare ovarian cancers. In fact, we are one of the few cancer centers in the nation to house a prestigious federally funded ovarian cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) program. This means we offer a variety of clinical trials of new treatments for ovarian cancer.
National Cancer Institute
Information about ovarian cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and vaccine therapy
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.
Although there are several known risk factors for getting ovarian cancer, no one knows exactly why one woman gets it and another does not. The most significant risk factor for developing ovarian cancer is age; the older a woman is, the higher her chances are of having it. The majority of ovarian cancers are diagnosed in women after they have gone through menopause, in their late fifties and sixties.
Welcome to Ovacome. We are a UK-wide support network providing information and support for everyone affected by ovarian cancer.
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, 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.
Share Cancer Support
SHARE Cancer Support is one of the leading ovarian and breast cancer organizations online, offering support for women with breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
The 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.
The Lynne Cohen Foundation
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.
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.
Ovarian cancer is a disease that principally affects middle and upper-class women in industrialized nations. It is uncommon in underdeveloped countries, perhaps because of different dietary factors in these regions (see also Causes of Ovarian Cancer). Among American women, ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer, and it is the leading cause of death from all types of gynecologic cancer.
Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal.
Women who have a mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease. Also, women with a family history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum may also have an increased risk of 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.
Ovarian cancer is associated with age, family history of ovarian cancer (9.8-fold higher risk), anaemia (2.3-fold higher), abdominal pain (sevenfold higher), abdominal distension (23-fold higher), rectal bleeding (twofold higher), postmenopausal bleeding (6.6-fold higher), appetite loss (5.2-fold higher), and weight loss (twofold higher).