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September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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Ovarian cancer ranks as one of the most common cancer threats, and it is the fifth most deadly. More than 21,980 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and more than 14,000 die annually. [1] Proactive diagnosis and treatment, however, greatly improve the odds because 93 percent of women survive five years or longer if the cancer is detected and treated during the early stages.

That's why raising awareness of ovarian cancer is so important. President Obama designated the awareness event in 2016. [2] OvarianCancerAwareness.org was founded in 2000 to raise awareness and includes a who's who of cancer-fighting organizations, physicians, medical professionals and community activists dedicated to the fight against cancer. During September, local organizations and individuals can work together to reinforce cancer awareness and help to prevent unnecessary suffering and deaths.

Facts About Ovarian Cancer You Should Know

Most women develop ovarian cancer during their fifties and sixties at the median age of 63. Many patients have a genetic predisposition for ovarian cancer, which is caused by a mutation of the BRCA gene. If the women in your family history have had ovarian cancer, your risk increases. Other key risk factors for getting ovarian cancer include: [3]

• Women who experience uninterrupted ovulation due to fertility treatments and have never been pregnant

• Using excessive talcum powder in the genital area

• Women who have early onset of their periods or had a late menopause

• Smoking, which seems to lead to mucinous ovarian cancer

Unfortunately, there are several different kinds of cancer under the umbrella term “ovarian cancer.” The risks are for a diverse group of cancers, each of which has its own prognosis based on the cancer’s molecular characteristics. Your treatment options are also affected by other conditions you might have such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems. [3] Fortunately, treatment options are advancing all the time. Immunotherapy is one promising treatment, and preventative surgery can help.

[1] https://www.ovariancancerawareness.org/

[2] https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/presidential-proclamation-national-ovarian-cancer-awareness-month-2013 

[3] https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/essential-facts-about-ovarian-cancer/ 

[4] https://www.health.com/ovarian-cancer/early-signs-ovarian-cancer#02-bleeding-ovarian-cancer 

[5] https://www.cancercenter.com/ovarian-cancer/symptoms/

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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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