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World Ovarian Cancer Day 2015: How Can You Raise Awareness?

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World Ovarian Cancer Day 2015: Raising Awareness Will Save Lives MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

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This year more than 21,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and more than 14,000 women will die from the disease, the American Cancer Society estimates.

Sadly, ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate among all gynecological cancers, according to the US, National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health. In the US, it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. In addition, most women are diagnosed in the late stages, after the cancer has spread and is far more difficult to treat.

That’s why World Ovarian Cancer Day (WOCD), observed on May 8, is an important opportunity to make a pledge to raise awareness about this deadly, but treatable, disease, so that we can make informed treatment decisions.

All women share an unbreakable bond with the other women in our lives – our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. On WOCD, let’s recognize this unbreakable bond by joining together to raise awareness about a disease that affects 1 in 75. Let’s use our voice to stand in solidarity with women around the world who are living with ovarian cancer, a disease for which there is currently no cure. Together we can raise awareness to increase early ovarian cancer diagnosis rates and bring an end to this disease.

As with all cancers, an early ovarian cancer diagnosis holds the best chance for successful treatment. Unfortunately, symptoms such as abdominal swelling or bloating, pelvic pressure or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and needing to urinate often or urgently, aren’t associated as obvious symptoms. Only about 15 percent of ovarian cancers are caught early, according to the American Cancer Society and it’s common for these symptoms to be misdiagnosed as less severe conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders.

Additionally, too few women know about ovarian cancer and its inherited risk factors, such as having a family history of gynecological or similar cancers, or inheriting harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations from either parent.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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