Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among women — and the deadliest of all gynecological cancers, said Dr. Robert Burger, director of the women’s cancer center at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, ovarian cancer affects one in 71 women in the United States. Approximately 23,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, including an estimated 150 women in Utah.
More than 15,000 women will die from the disease this year.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague, and difficult to diagnose because they can mimic other, less life-threatening problems.
However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it’s wise to seek medical advice and talk about your concerns.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include abdominal pressure; fullness; swelling or bloating; persistent indigestion, gas or nausea; lower back pain; pelvic discomfort and pain; a frequency in urination or other changes in bladder and bowel habits; loss of appetite and a feeling of fullness more quickly than usual after eating a meal; lack of energy that doesn’t go away; and clothes fitting tighter around your waist.
“It’s important to understand that a lot of the challenges and opportunities we are facing with this disease are directly linked to the public,” Burger said. “They need to be aware and have access to the front lines in terms of fighting it.”