Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer Hopefully Will Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

Posted by Lia Chang

Awareness of the common symptoms of Ovarian cancer could to lead to an earlier diagnosis.

According to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), it is estimated that more than 22,000 women will be told they have ovarian cancer this year and more than 15,000 will die from this deadly cancer. At present, about 80% of these cancers are not diagnosed in their early stages, leading to a reduced chance of survival. Often referred to as the "silent killer" because there are no warning signs or symptoms, ovarian cancer is the most deadly reproductive cancer, ranking fifth in cancer deaths among women.

According to Dr. Barbara Goff, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Washington and other researchers, bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urgency or frequency in urinary symptoms are more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation led this research effort to form a consensus in response to ovarian cancer survivors who long held the belief that there were common symptoms of ovarian cancer.

"This agreement on common symptoms of ovarian cancer hopefully will lead to earlier diagnosis when a cure is more likely," said Dr. Goff. "We know that when women are diagnosed in Stage I of the disease, it is 90% curable. Unfortunately, until now there has been no agreement on common symptoms, allowing women to go undiagnosed, despite visits to the doctor, until it was too late."

Unlike cervical cancer, there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, making symptom recognition and regular pelvic examinations the primary ways to detect the cancer early.

Women are encouraged the visit the Women's Cancer Network (http://www.wcn.org) to take a risk assessment and to learn more about women's cancers.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and proper treatment. In addition, the Foundation supports research and training related to gynecologic cancers. GCF advances this mission by increasing public and private funds that aid in the development and implementation of programs to meet these goals.

Ovarian Cancer Consensus Statement Symptoms Originating Organizations: Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, American Cancer Society

Ovarian Cancer Consensus Statement Symptoms Endorsing Organizations: CancerCare, Conversations: The International Newsletter For Those Fighting Ovarian Cancer, EyesOnThePrize.org, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer
Empowered, Gilda's Club Worldwide, Gynecologic Oncology Group, In My Sister's Care, International Gynecologic Cancer Society, Lynn Cohen Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Cervical Cancer Coalition, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Ovarian Cancer Canada, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, SHARE: Self-help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer, Society of Gynecologic Nurse Oncologists

SOURCE The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation