Navigation Links
Early detection is key in the fight against ovarian cancer
Date:9/15/2011

CHICAGO Ovarian cancer is a rare but often deadly disease that can strike at any time in a woman's life. It affects one in 70 women and in the past was referred to as a silent killer, but researchers have found there are symptoms associated with ovarian cancer that can assist in early detection. Experts at Northwestern Memorial say the best defense is to make use of preventive methods, understand the risks and recognize potential warning signs of ovarian cancer.

"Currently, there is no reliable screening test to identify early ovarian cancer. Women need to focus on good health habits, listen to their bodies and tell their doctor if a change occurs," said Diljeet Singh, MD, gynecological oncologist and co-director of the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Catching ovarian cancer early increases five-year survival odds from 30 percent to more than 90 percent. But the symptoms of ovarian cancer often mimic other less dangerous conditions making it difficult to recognize. Singh says women should be aware of possible early warning signs which include:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
  • Increased abdominal size (pants getting tighter around waist)

Singh comments that the frequency and number of symptoms is important and women who experience a combination of these symptoms almost daily for two to three weeks should see their doctor.

Doctors say it is not clear what causes ovarian cancer but there are factors that increase the odds of developing the disease including carrying a mutation of the BRCA gene, having a personal history of breast cancer or a family history of ovarian cancer, being over the age of 45 or if a woman is obese. If a woman is high-risk, doctors recommend screening begin at age 20 to 25, or five to 10 years earlier than the youngest age of diagnosis in the family. In addition, there are genetic tests available that can identify women who are at a substantially increased risk.

While ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, specialized centers such as the Northwestern Ovarian Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program, a collaborative effort between the hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, have strategies for monitoring women at risk. Patients are monitored with physical examinations, ultrasound and blood tests every six months. "The goals of the program are to help women understand their personal risks and what they can do to decrease their risk, to help develop methods of early detection and prevention and to identify women who would benefit from preventive surgery," said Singh, also an associate professor at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and member of the Lurie Cancer Center.

Studies have shown there are ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease. Women who use birth control pills for at least five years are three-times less likely to develop ovarian cancer. In addition, permanent forms of birth control such as tubal ligation have been found to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 50 percent. In cases where women have an extensive family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or who carry altered versions of the BRCA genes, may receive a recommendation to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes which lowers the risk of ovarian cancer by more than 95 percent.

"Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, getting regular exercise, maintaining a normal body weight and managing stresses are all ways women can help decrease their risk of ovarian cancer," added Singh.

Treatment for ovarian cancer usually begins with surgery to determine if the cancer has spread. Doctors at Northwestern Memorial also use a form of chemotherapy called intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which is injected directly into the abdominal cavity and has been linked to a 15-month improvement in survival.

"The best scenario would be to prevent this cancer entirely but until that day comes women need to focus on good health behaviors, listen to their bodies and know their family history" stated Singh.


'/>"/>

Contact: Angela Salerno
asalerno@nmh.org
312-926-8327
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. World Alzheimers Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention
2. JCI online early table of contents: Sept. 12, 2011
3. Lung cancer signatures in blood samples may aid in early detection
4. Losing Child in First Year Might Raise Early Death Risk for Parent
5. Young women with early breast cancer have similar survival with breast conservation, mastectomy
6. JCI online early table of contents: Sept. 1, 2011
7. Coach Summitts Diagnosis Puts Spotlight on Early-Onset Alzheimers
8. Obesity Costing States Billion in Yearly Medical Expenses
9. Study finds narcolepsy cases in China peak in early spring
10. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. Kids Diagnosed With ADHD
11. Sniffer Dogs Spot Early Stage Lung Cancer: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Dr. James Maisel will present ... Island Chapter on June 4, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm at the Farmingdale Public Library. ... Retina Group of New York , is a Board Certified ophthalmologist who completed ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... provider of comprehensive treatment for eating disorders, is opening a brand new child ... provide individuals ages 8-17 and their families with even more specialized eating disorder ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... The MIAMI Institute for Age Management and Intervention ... Maiquez MD, ABAARM. Dr. Adonis , Wellness Physician of the MIAMI Institute is ... the Institute for Functional Medicine. , He also heads up FITTLab, the comprehensive medical ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... On May 23rd during the National Eye Institute’s “Healthy Vision Month”, Sharon ... honored by Ashram, Inc. as the world’s foremost water visionary. , “Sharon Kleyne is ... the Nile to fill their red clay pots with life-sustaining water.” Said Ashram co-founder ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Saint ... for several years, and the efforts have paid off. Since implementation of ... standards of care to enhance perioperative patient experiences and reduce costly complications. Since ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Los innovadores ... del mundo, introduce catéteres para la intervención de ... una compañía global especializada en el suministro de ... su cartera incluyendo productos para tratar la enfermedad ... PTA son los dispositivos de primera entrada de ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... England , May 24, 2016 ... and Education in Clinical Neurophysiology  Elsevier ... information products and services, today announced the launch of ... an open access journal that focuses on clinical practice ... research, case reports, clinical series, normal values and didactic ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Een app die artsen over de hele ... behandelen, hun kennis kunnen delen en van elkaar kunnen ... revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld door een internationale groep artsen ... en oncologisch chirurg dr. Gijs van Acker . ... dinsdag 24 mei officieel gepresenteerd op het Amsterdam Startup ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: