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The Good News About Ovarian Cancer

What do Gilda Radner, Loretta Young, Madeleine Kahn, and Jessica Tandy have in common?  All four were leading ladies who made their final exit after an extremely tough act to follow: ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer may affect one in 55 women, at any age, but usually over age 50.  And while it has a well deserved reputation as a "silent killer" because its symptoms are subtle and easy to miss, the fact is that 90% of women with ovarian cancer reported that they did in fact have symptoms.  Most of these are abdominal:  gas, indigestion, bloating, chronic stomach pain or pressure, and an increased waist line.   Other symptoms include changes in bowel or bladder patterns; pain in the pelvis, legs or lower back; fatigue; unexplained weight gain or loss; or pain with intercourse. 

There is good news about ovarian cancer.  Testing is underway on a variety of new treatments including a vaccine.  5-year survival rates are on the rise:  for ovarian cancer diagnosed early, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%.  Best of all, it is now known that women who take low-dose birth control pills can reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 40 to 65%.

For more information, click here.

Created: 7/18/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.
Reviewed: 6/30/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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