Each September is designated National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We hope this emphasis month will help inform Americans, who might otherwise not know about Ovarian Cancer.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are often vague at first. This often leads to the cancer not being diagnosed until it is late stage, which is far less treatable.
Many people do not know the symptoms — which are not necessarily specific to the disease — and some women are incorrectly diagnosed with digestive or bladder conditions since the symptoms often mimic those illnesses. Ovarian cancer symptoms are usually persistent and increase with time.
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include: abdominal pressure and increased abdominal size; pelvic discomfort or pain; persistent indigestion (gas or nausea); changes in bowel habits (constipation); changes in bladder habits (frequent need to urinate); loss of appetite or feeling full; ongoing lack of energy; Low back pain.
Cancer research experts agree that genetics are one of the most promising areas in modern oncology. My wife has participated in a gene therapy research study as well as a study using the cold virus to mark cancer cells so that the body’s own immune system can be used to fight the cancer. Traditional treatment — surgery and Chemotherapy — are still the most common. My wife has now undergone three major surgeries, over 45 rounds of chemo and participated in various research studies.
A new roadblock in treatment is the ongoing drug shortage in the U.S. Just this year, two chemo drugs she needed were unavailable. This drug shortage problem is not limited to cancer treatment. Over 300 drugs are listed as either depleted or in short supply.
Please be aware of Ovarian Cancer — “the cancer that whispers” — throughout the year. Listen to your body and demand that your doctor provide a timely and definitive diagnosis, not just treat the symptoms.
— Clay and Carla Allison, Springville