Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in Australia, and yet it is one of least talked about. Many women don’t know the risks or warning signs.
During the month of February, we are proudly wearing the teal ribbon and sharing our insights for a better understanding of ovarian cancer, and to show our support for patients who have been diagnosed.
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a term used to describe a cancerous (malignant) tumour occurring in one or both of the ovaries.
The ovaries are two almond shaped organs that form a part of the female reproductive system, including the vagina, fallopian tubes and cervix. The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and contain cells that develop into reproductive eggs called ova.
What are the types of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer falls into three categories because they behave differently, and they require different treatment.
With more than 200 rare forms of cancer identified, there are hospitals, cancer centres and specialist clinicians that continue to research and develop new ways to prevent, treat and manage ovarian cancer.
At SmartClinics we are dedicated to helping women and families understand and manage ovarian cancer from diagnosis through to ongoing patient care.
What is my risk of ovarian cancer?
The exact causes are unknown but there are some known factors, that may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer:
Ovarian cancer can happen at any age but it is most common in women who have been through menopause. The average diagnosed age is 64 years.
Biological traits passed on through one generation to another has been identified as a causefor approximately 20% of women diagnosed, these include:
Research has shown that other factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer:
What are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
There is no early detection sign for ovarian cancer. While many symptoms may be caused by less serious medical conditions, you recommend visiting your GP for any persistent ailments such as:
With additional symptoms of:
Is there any way I can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer?
Risk, prevention and management should always be discussed with a GP that knowns your full medical history and can assess the right plan for you.
Research indicates there is a reduced ovarian cancer risk from certain factors:
Whatever you do, don’t stay at home and worry, come on in and talk to us. Our friendly GP’s will advise the fully examine any symptoms and begin a process to alleviate any concerns.
At SmartClinics our women’s health GP’s are committed to raising awareness and supporting women with any ovarian cancer queries or concerns. Please don’t be shy about discussing ovarian cancer with us. Your health is of paramount importance to us and we are here to support you.
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