September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that ovarian cancer accounts for 3% of all cancers in women but “causes more deaths each year than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.” The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2019, approximately 22,530 U.S. women would receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis and 13,980 women would die from this disease.
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition explains that ovarian cancer is “a disease in which, depending on the type and stage of the disease, malignant (cancerous) cells are found inside, near, or on the outer layer of the ovaries.” All women are at risk, but there are some with a genetic predisposition and one’s risk increases with age.
A Pap test does not detect ovarian cancer thus most women tend to be diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease. The earlier the diagnosis, the better are the chances of survival. Even though signs and symptoms are rare in the early stages, one should be mindful of what they are and be extra vigilant if she has a high-risk factor for the disease. Some symptoms may include:
- Trouble eating and feeling full quickly
- The urgent and often need to urinate
- Heartburn or upset stomach
- Back pain
- Painful sex
- Menstrual changes
To schedule an annual physical or to discuss your treatment options with a qualified healthcare professional, you may walk-in to any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, or you may schedule an appointment by visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.