One of the biggest killers of women in the United States, ovarian cancer affects more than 20,000 women each year, with over 14,000 losing their lives to the disease. The Centers for Disease Control statistics reveal that four in five women are diagnosed with the disease only when the cancer has spread to other parts, making treatment difficult. It is thus crucial to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and help women survive this disease, which can become fatal if it remains undetected or diagnosed in later stages. Ovarian cancer awareness helps make women aware of one of the most deadly types of gynecologic cancers, its diagnosis, potential symptoms, risk factors, and treatment, thus helping them and their families understand the need to be proactive in taking action toward early diagnosis of the disease and its prevention.
As a silent killer, ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose in the early stages because its symptoms are more or less similar to other common health problems. When detected in early stages, there is hope for complete treatment of ovarian cancer. However, there is no proven method to detect ovarian cancer easily. Thus awareness of the risk factors is the key to survival for a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is important to be aware of your body changes and understand what impact these changes are bringing to your overall health.
Some of the common ovarian cancer symptoms include:
- Need to urinate too often
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Feeling full too soon
- Persistent abdominal bloating for two weeks
- Increased abdominal size
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding during menstruation
Understanding Risk Factors
Older women are at a greater risk for ovarian cancer than younger women. Other risk factors that may increase your risk of the disease include:
- if you have had other cancers
- if you have genetic mutations
- if you face trouble getting pregnant
- if you have never given birth
If the woman of your life experiences similar symptoms on a consistent basis, something might be seriously wrong. However, your duty as a partner is to approach the situation as a modern man, not that lazy, brainless chap of the 90s, who couldn’t anticipate things and would just wait for the situation to become worse and then take action. Today, the need of the hour is to remain attentive and aware to each other’s needs.
Role of Family
Most women diagnosed with the disease start counting their days and tend to dread every passing moment. She may even stop communicating and get irritated at trivial matters, fearing death. As a partner, imagine what your woman might be feeling that she’s not communicating; how to open up the channels of communication to better understand her needs and show her how she can still fight the disease and come out as a survivor to live happily. Support during such times is one of the best gifts loved ones can offer a patient detected with ovarian cancer. Showing her that you still care for her and that she means a lot to you can give her the confidence to fight the disease. Little pieces of advice on small gestures that you can do that show you care and support her, from the financial to the romantic, can give her the confidence to show restraint to the disease.
Let’s take a pledge to lend support to all the women touched by this disease and strengthen our resolve to detect, prevent, treat, and defeat ovarian cancer to save our women and hope for a better future for them.