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Why Ovarian Cancer Is Called the Silent Killer

By HERWriter
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Ovarian Cancer: Why It's Called the Silent Killer Chinnapong/fotolia, Edited by Erin Kennedy

These are tumors that form from the cells that make up the ova or eggs in females and sperm in males. Less than 2 percent of ovarian tumors occur in germ cells, according to ACS.

Stromal tumors

These tumors form in the structural tissue that holds the ovary together. They are responsible for producing the hormones progesterone and estrogen. About 1 percent of ovarian cancers are ovarian stromal cell tumors, according to ACS.


Pap smears will not tell you if you have ovarian cancer, so getting a yearly exam will not be enough to protect you. You must be aware of the symptoms and report them to your doctor for evaluation.

And don’t stop questioning your symptoms if you are told you have irritable bowel syndrome but you still have concerns.

Andrea Gluck, a woman with ovarian cancer who had posted on the Johns Hopkins Pathology Ovarian Cancer Website forum , was quoted on PubMed Central.

Gluck said, “I regret that I accepted the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and did not investigate further ... But I had seen my internist, my gynecologist, and a gastroenterologist. No one even mentioned that my symptoms might have been ovarian cancer and my life threatened by it.”(5)

Trust your own inner voice if you feel that your symptoms might mean there is more going on inside your body.

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in women’s health care and quality of care issues.

Edited by Jody Smith

1) Beat Ovarian Cancer. Ovacome..the ovarian cancer support network. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2016.

2)  Symptoms and Detection of Ovarian Cancer.  Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2016.

3) What is ovarian cancer?  American Cancer Society. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2016.

4) Types & Stages of Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2016.

5)  Jasen, Patricia. From the “Silent Killer” to the “Whispering Disease”: Ovarian Cancer and the Uses of Metaphor.   Med Hist. 2009 Oct; 53(4): 489–512.

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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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