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Knowing the signs important in detecting ovarian cancer

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2010

You’re told to be screened for breast cancer, colon cancer, and a number of illnesses because early detection is important.  But one illness that affects an estimated 20,000 women in the U.S. each year is difficult to detect.

It’s ovarian cancer.  Dr. Craig Whatcott with St. Margaret’s Health says sometimes women take a blood test, but it’s not really useful and symptoms are common things like gas or indigestion.  He says by the time it’s detected, it’s usually more advanced lessening the odds of survival.

It’s usually found in women in the 40s and older and can run in families, but most women who are diagnosed have no family history.

He says birth control pills have been shown to reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by half.  Women who have had multiple pregnancies are at lower risk because they’ve ovulated fewer times.

It’s treated through surgery and chemotherapy but the success rate isn’t as high as other cancers.

He says the best thing to do is tell your doctor if you notice any recent changes with indigestion, because they could be a sign. September is ovarian and prostate cancer awareness month.

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