Ovarian Cancer is diagnosed in almost a quarter of a million women globally and results in the deaths of 140,000 women each year. Only 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years, compared to nearly 89% of women with breast cancer. It’s a frightening statistic, but early diagnosis is key to improving the chance of survival.
World Ovarian Cancer Day is about spreading awareness of ovarian cancer, including the symptoms and contributing causes of it, with the aim of increasing the chances of early diagnosis. Most cases are diagnosed in the later stages of the illness when survival chances are slimmer. The hope is that through awareness campaigns, increased knowledge about ovarian cancer symptoms will allow to earlier diagnosis.
The main difficulty in diagnosis lies in the similarities between the symptoms and other conditions. The organisation behind World Ovarian Cancer Day suggests that women, especially those over 50, who experience increased abdominal size/ persistent bloating, difficulty eating/ feeling full quickly, abdominal or pelvic pain, or needing to pass urine more urgently or frequently on most days within a three week period should seek consultation with their doctor.
They also suggest checking your family history; having a relative on either parent’s side who has had breast cancer before the age of 50 or ovarian cancer at any time of lives can significantly increase your own chances of contracting the illness.
This is the third World Ovarian Cancer Day, and it has grown every year. Individuals, companies, and other interested groups can sign the awareness pledge on the website (www.ovariancancerday.org).
In signing the pledge people will be given information about ovarian cancer and on May 8th will receive an e-card containing symptom and risk information to send on to their friends and family.
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