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I don’t normally post topics like this on the blog, but the more I came to learn about this “below the belt” disease at work, the more I realized that that this is something that I want to share, even if no one really likes to talk about it. Really, what’s the point of me learning all of this information at work, having a blog, and not sharing it with my friends, family, and others?
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to research ovarian cancer-related topics and attend a screening of N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease). This powerful documentary follows six gynecological cancer surgeons who are on a “rock n’ roll mission” to raise awareness and educate women and their families on the signs, symptoms, and critical importance of early diagnosis. If you’re into medical/health-related documentaries, this is a really moving one!
Ovarian Cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in women. In the U.S. alone, over 20,000 women/year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and there are close to 15,000 deaths/year, due to this disease. Unfortunately, there are no effective screening options (pap smears do not test for this cancer) and the symptoms are so vague, that the cancer is usually caught in its later stages. The symptoms are common to other issues, and include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full too quickly
- Urinary urgency or frequency
See…it could be anything else! However, if they continue to happen over a course of a few weeks, its recommended that an individual gets checked out.
Even though, today is the last day of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, it doesn’t mean awareness truly stops. Continued education and awareness are key to helping women and their families fight ovarian cancer. If caught in its earlier stages, the 5-year survival rate is greater than 90%. I wanted to share this information because it can affect any woman in your life. Educate yourselves and others on the symptoms–early detection really is the best defense.