Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Posted on March 6th 2019 | By Hollie Pita-Carr

Ovarian Cancer - Do You Know the Symptoms? Knowing the Facts Saves Lives. 

As with all cancers, knowing the symptoms for early detection is the key to increased survival rates. Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Nearly a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually and sadly 140,000 women lose their lives to ovarian cancer each year all over the world.  The sooner ovarian cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the greater the survival rate, so make sure that you - and everyone you know - are aware of the symptoms.

Who is at risk?

Every woman in the world is at risk of developing ovarian cancer, which has the lowest survival rate of all gynaecological cancers, characterised by a lack of awareness of symptoms and late stage diagnosis. Ovarian cancer is most common in postmenopausal women, although it can affect women of any age. 

Ovarian cancer is a risk for every woman in the world.

In the UK, 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, with 4,100 women losing their lives to it each year - that’s 11 women a day. The American Cancer Society estimates 22,530 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2019 and about 13,980 women will die from ovarian cancer in the United States this year alone.

Knowing the symptoms helps with early detection

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month states that ‘Three-quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. This is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in diagnosis, treatment, and survival.  The current five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 46 percent. If diagnosed 

at the earliest stage, up to 90 percent of women would survive five years or more. This is why early diagnosis is so important.

Research has shown that just 4 percent of women in the UK are very confident about recognising a symptom of ovarian cancer.’

According to research by Target Ovarian Cancer, Only 20% of women can identify bloating as a symptom of Ovarian Cancer.

Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Would you know what to look out for and when to go to the doctors? Do all your friends and family know?  Help spread the word - your voice and awareness could help save lives this Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. 

Other symptoms can include unexpected extreme fatigue, weight loss, back pain and changes in bowel habits. Any post-menopausal bleeding should always be investigated by a GP. Women who regularly experience any of these symptoms frequently, persistently and in ways that are unusual for them – should visit their GP.

When diagnosed at the earliest stage, a woman’s chance of surviving ovarian cancer for five years or more doubles from 46% to 90%.

This Symptom Leaflet by Target Ovarian Cancer is a useful source of information to make sure you know the symptoms. 

Risk factors

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month says ‘the two most important aspects affecting a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer are age and family history.

  • The risk of ovarian cancer increases with age, particularly after the menopause.
  • If a woman has two or more close family relatives with a history of ovarian cancer and/or breast cancer then she should discuss her family history with her doctor. Both sides of a woman’s family (mother and father) should be considered.

Most cases of ovarian cancer are ‘sporadic’ or one-offs and not related to family history, with a family link only being identified in around one in every ten cases. This means that close female relatives of someone with ovarian cancer do not necessarily face an increased risk of developing the disease themselves.

Target Ovarian Cancer also identifies some other risks factors, such as being overweight, smoking, a long menstrual history, having HRT, endometriosis, previous breast cancer or diabetes.  However, whilst these may be risk factors, it is not possible to predict who will develop ovarian cancer and the exact causes are not yet fully understood.

What Is ovarian cancer?

Women have two ovaries on either side of the uterus, which are small organs about the shape and size of an almond. Ovaries form part of a woman’s reproductive and hormonal system and have two main functions:

  1. Store a woman’s supply of eggs and alternately release an egg each month.
  2. Produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells start to multiply in and around one or both of the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes, creating a tumour. There are different types of ovarian tumours, each classified by the types of cells and tissue from which they originate. As ovarian cancer is not a single disease, treatment will depend on the type, stage, and grade.

Ovarian cancer diagnosis explained - stages and grades of ovarian cancer.

There are four stages of ovarian cancer, which represents how far it has spread: 

  • Stage 1 ovarian cancer is when the cancer is confined to one or both ovaries.
  • Stage 2 occurs when the cancer is also found outside the ovary or ovaries but has not spread beyond the pelvic region (uterus, bladder, lower intestine).
  • Stage 3 involves ovarian cancer spreading beyond the pelvis into the abdominal cavity (but not the liver) and/or to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4 indicates that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body such as the liver, lungs and brain.

A woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer will also be told what grade the tumour is, predicting how quickly the tumour is expected to spread. There are four grades:

  • Grade 0 tumours are also known as borderline or tumours of low malignant potential. They look very much like normal tissue cells and are usually easy to cure, they are less aggressive and unlikely to spread.
  • Grade 1 tumours look very similar to normal tissue. They are referred to as low grade and tend to grow slowly.
  • Grade 2 tumours grow moderately fast and are sometimes referred to as intermediate grade tumours.
  • Grade 3 is the most aggressive type of cancer and grow quickly in a disorganised way.

How is this related to gynaecological cancers?

We previously looked at How To Prevent Cervical Cancer and ovarian cancer cannot be detected through regular screening. 

As The Eve Appeal state: “There are five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vaginal and vulval – but awareness levels of these cancers are very low.  There are common signs and symptoms across some of the gynaecological cancers, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding. Other signs are less obvious and could be due to different health conditions, for example, abdominal bloating can indicate Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Each year in the UK, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer. This equates to 58 women receiving this life-changing news every day. Sadly 21 women will die from gynaecological cancer every day.”

Empowering yourself to not give away your power.

Marisa Peer, Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy overcame gynaecological cancer of the womb and testifies that the power of the mind was key to her rapid recovery.

Marisa advises that with cancer patients, it is vital to visualise the tumour shrinking and imagine the body cutting off blood supply to the tumour. When talking about her own experience of being diagnosed with cancer, she actively imaged the cancer remaining contained and shrinking. She told her body what she wanted it to do and remained positive about the outcome. She surprised doctors with how quickly she managed to fully recover and now teaches others how to use Command Cell Therapy and other aspects of her Rapid Transformational Therapy™ to achieve life-changing results.

Marisa works with the principle that every thought or idea causes a physical reaction in the body. She empowers people to use the power of their mind to influence their body, as thoughts create biochemical changes in the body.  Because the mind believes what we tell it and takes everything we say and think literally, when we think positive thoughts, we can create positive feelings and responses. When the body is relaxed, calm and happy, it is better able to maintain a natural healing state.  Marisa teaches people how to use Rapid Transformational Therapy™ to command the body to heal, instructing the subconscious to restore optimum health. When you give your body what it needs to heal and tell yourself that everything ahead is manageable and that you have phenomenal coping skills, then you are empowering yourself and taking control.

In a recent interview with Mindvalley, Marisa explains that realising the personal power she had “was a huge turning point for me in my decision to really take charge of my own body and mind and to fix myself.”  According to Marisa, “You have so much power to keep yourself well, to heal your body. Don’t give your power away. How you’re going to feel in life is really all up to you.”

Over the last thirty years, Marisa has used her powerful techniques to help clients all over the world overcome physical, emotional and cognitive issues, including helping people with incurable diseases heal themselves. This has led to Marisa being named ‘Best British Therapist’, and recognised internationally with numerous awards for the revolutionary results of Rapid Transformational Therapy™.

Reducing the risk of ovarian cancer 

Whilst we cannot predict who will develop ovarian cancer, there are a number of things that significantly reduce a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer, including:

This Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month know the symptoms and do what you can to help increase awareness, funding and survival rates.

Marisa Peer’s 5 ways to empower people to deal with cancer themselves:

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