September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month : Phillips Health Care Newsletter
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September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

by Phillips Clinic on 09/04/22

WHAT IS OVARIAN CANCER?
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. 

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries. Ovaries are reproductive glands found only in females (women). The ovaries produce eggs (ova) for reproduction. The eggs travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilized egg implants and develops into a fetus. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
 One ovary is on each side of the uterus in the pelvis.

STATISTICS FOR
OVARIAN CANCER
The American Cancer 
Society estimates for 
ovarian cancer in the United States for 2016 are:
About 22,280 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
About 14,240 women will die from ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the 
female reproductive system. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 100. 

Ovarian cancer mainly develops in older women. About half of the women who are diagnosed are 63 years or older. It is more common in white women than African-American women.

The rate at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been slowly falling over the past 20 years.


WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS
Researchers have discovered several specific factors that change a woman's likelihood of developing epithelial ovarian cancer..
Age
The risk of developing ovarian cancer gets higher with age. Ovarian cancer is rare in women younger than 40. Most ovarian cancers develop after menopause. Half of all ovarian cancers are found in women 63 years of age or older.
Obesity
Various studies have looked at the relationship of obesity and ovarian cancer. Overall, it seems that obese women (those with a body mass index of at least 30) have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Reproductive history
Women who have been pregnant and carried it to term before age 26 have a lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who have not. The risk goes down with each full-term pregnancy. Women who have their first full-term pregnancy after age 35 or who never carried a pregnancy to term have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding may lower the risk even further.
Birth Control
Women who have used oral contraceptives (also known as birth control pills or the pill) have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. The lower risk is seen after only 3 to 6 months of using the pill, and the risk is lower the longer the pills are used. This lower risk continues for many years after the pill is stopped.

A recent study found that the women who used depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA or Depo-Provera CI®), an injectable hormonal contraceptive had a lower risk of ovarian cancer. The risk was even lower if the women had used it for 3 or more years.
Gynecologic Surgery
Tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) may reduce the chance of developing ovarian cancer by up to two-thirds. A hysterectomy (removing the uterus without removing the ovaries) also seems to reduce the risk of getting ovarian cancer by about one-third.

Fertility drugs

In some studies, researchers have found that using the fertility drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid®) for longer than one year may increase the risk for developing ovarian tumors. The risk seemed to be highest in women who did not get pregnant while on this drug. Fertility drugs seem to increase the risk of the type of ovarian tumors known as "low malignant potential" (described in the section, "What is ovarian cancer?"). If you are taking fertility drugs, you should discuss the potential risks with your doctor. However, women who are infertile may be at higher risk (compared to fertile women) even if they don’t use fertility drugs. This might be in part because they haven't carried a pregnancy to term or used birth control pills (which are protective).
Gynecologic surgery
Tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) may reduce the chance of developing ovarian cancer by up to two-thirds. A hysterectomy (removing the uterus without removing the ovaries) also seems to reduce the risk of getting ovarian cancer by about one-third.
Fertility drugs
In some studies, researchers have found that using the fertility drug clomiphene citrate (Clomid®) for longer than one year may increase the risk for developing ovarian tumors. The risk seemed to be highest in women who did not get pregnant while on this drug. 
Family history of :
Ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or colorectal cancer

What are Symptoms of 
Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. This is partly due to the fact that the ovaries are deep within the abdominal cavity. 

Some of the signs and symptoms of ovarian 
cancer:
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
Fatigue
Upset stomach or heartburn
Back pain
Pain during sex
Constipation or menstrual changes
To learn more log on to ovarian.org
 or call 1-888-OVARIAN


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