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Women's Gynecological Exams: Another Victim of the Troubled Economy?
Date:5/5/2009

New Survey From National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Says Gynecologic Health Exams Likely To Fall To The Wayside Due To Economic Factors

DALLAS, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- At Mother's Day, a new survey from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), www.ovarian.org, reveals some startling facts about women's health: more than 52 percent of women expect the economy will impact their gynecological health choices, in many cases delaying or skipping their annual gynecological exams altogether.

Fielded by TNS Global for the NOCC, the study surveyed 1,000 Americans on their awareness of ovarian cancer, a leading gynecologic cancer. Ovarian cancer affects 20,000 women annually and is responsible for the deaths of 15,000 each year. Older women are at highest risk. Additionally, about two-thirds of ovarian cancer deaths occur in women aged 55 and over and about 25 percent occur in women between 35 and 54*, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Significant results from the survey include:

  • One in three women has not had a gynecologic exam in the past year.
  • 28.5 percent will skip seeing a gynecologist and will only see their primary care physician.
  • 23.2 percent will only get their annual exam if they have a problem.
  • 14.2 percent will delay their annual exam altogether.

"These results are particularly troubling to the NOCC due to the nature of ovarian cancer, the fact that women are not seeing their physicians for an annual exam and the lack of awareness of symptoms," said Carol Ansley, CEO of the NOCC. "There is no screening test, so women need to be their own advocates and have an open dialogue with their health practitioners about persistent symptoms. With ovarian cancer, early detection is key to long-term survival. Improved
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SOURCE National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
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