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CANCER INFORMATION

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among women, and it is an abnormal, cancerous growth located near or on the ovaries. Ovarian cancer's cause is not exactly known, but it is the second most commonly diagnosed gynecological disease. As women age, their risk for ovarian cancer increases dramatically, although younger women can also be diagnosed with the disease. About one out of every 4-60 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. It has been noted that the more children a woman has, the lower her risk for ovarian cancer. Ironically, however, women who take the birth control pill or who have had a tubal ligation (had their tubes tied) are also at a lower risk. Some are in a debate over the link between fertility medication and ovarian cancer, but nothing has been written in stone just yet. Another interesting study has linked the consumption of milk to ovarian cancer. It claims that women who drink more than one glass of milk a day are almost double the risk for ovarian cancer, although the study is also a source of controversy. Other risk factors include the amount of fatty acids found in the bloodstream, and this can be determined by a fairly simple blood test. Some symptoms of ovarian cancer include dramatic weight loss or weight gain, a sense of heavy feeling in the pelvic area, non menstrual vaginal bleeding, increased gas or acid reflux/digestive problems, bloating, and vomiting, to name a few.

Just like every other cancer, there are various types of treatment available to help beat the disease. Perhaps the most common form of treatment for ovarian cancer is a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involved the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Most women have a fairly high success rate with hysterectomy treatment, although this means that the woman cannot bear any more children. For younger women at child bearing age, this procedure could be fairly dramatic, but it is often necessary to save lives. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer has been known to spread rather quickly. This means that the cancerous cells can reproduce and move into other parts of the body such as the abdomen, bowel, and bladder. The biggest problem that doctors have with diagnosing ovarian cancer early is the fact that it is not easy to find, and there are not many cost effective measures out there for women to use in order to be tested on a regular basis. Education is one of the biggest and most important ways to spread the word about ovarian cancer. There are tests available, and research is being done to find new and more effective ways to diagnose the disease. Many famous women have died of ovarian cancer such as Madeline Kahn, Gilda Radner, and Jessica Tandy, to name a few. This stark realization prompts all women to be more aggressive when it comes to their health and well being. Through research and testing, ovarian cancer will become easier to treat and diagnose over time.

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