what all women need to know
ovarian cancer is a killer disease
It is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers and the fifth leading
cause of cancer deaths among American women.
- A woman’s lifetime risk of developing invasive ovarian cancer is 1 in
- More than 21,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer
- More than 13,850 deaths are expected to be caused by
ovarian cancer in the United States in 2010
early detection greatly increases survival.
- Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are often
subtle and easily confused with other conditions.
- When ovarian cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the
ovaries, nine out of 10 women will survive for more than five years.
However, only 19 percent of ovarian cancer cases in the United States
are diagnosed at this early stage.
- Fewer than 20 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early.
- Survival rates vary depending on the stage of diagnosis.
learn ovarian cancer’s subtle symptoms.
- Many people do not know that ovarian cancer causes these symptoms in
the majority of women who develop the disease: bloating; pelvic and
abdominal pain; difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary
symptoms (urgency or frequency).
- Additional symptoms may include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain
with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.
- Research shows that women with ovarian cancer do experience symptoms.
Without increased education, many women, and their doctors, will ignore
or misinterpret symptoms.
- Women need to know if they may be at a higher risk for
ovarian cancer, and what action to take, such as exploring
whether to have a hysterectomy. Factors that increase risk
include: increasing age; personal or family history of
ovarian, breast or colon cancer; and never having been
pregnant or given birth to a child.
- About 10 to 15 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a
hereditary tendency to develop the disease.
more research is needed to develop an early detection test and a cure
- There is no reliable and easy-to-administer early detection test for
ovarian cancer (as there is for cervical cancer with a Pap test).
- Ovarian cancer research is drastically under-funded from a survival
perspective. Federal appropriations for ovarian cancer research have
declined in real dollars, although the death rate has remained stagnant
for 30 years.