Key Facts About Ovarian Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates about 21,750 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and that it will be fatal in about 13,940 cases. It’s the fifth deadliest cancer for women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.
Although it can affect women of all ages, it mainly develops in older women – in fact, half of all cases affect women aged 63 or older. Women at an elevated risk because of family history are more likely to develop ovarian cancer at an earlier age.
As many as 20% of ovarian cancer cases are genetic and could be prevented if people took action early. The best ways to determine if you are at an elevated risk for ovarian cancer is to learn about your family cancer history or to ask your doctor about genetic testing.
Find out your family cancer history today.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer can present differently in different women. In the early stages, there may not be any symptoms at all, and in the advanced stages, symptoms can be easily mistaken for other conditions. That’s why family cancer history is so important.
Common symptoms may include
- Abdominal or pelvic pain or discomfort
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Irregular periods or post-menopausal bleeding
- Excessive fatigue
- Change in bowel movements
- Frequent need to urinate
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss