Recently a great friend of mine lost her mother to ovarian cancer. I read today that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. I have also heard that not only is this disease brutal, but it is also very hard to detect. I wanted to post this information (found on the American Cancer Society's website http://www.cancer.org/) for your information. I urge all of you to pay extra attention to your body, and don't ignore signs that you think are trying to telling you something...
Gina - I am very sorry for your loss, and think about you each day. All of you can visit her journey and follow her adorable family by visiting the link to the right, called "Gavin". They are an amazing family!
How Is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer may cause several signs and symptoms. Women are more likely to have symptoms if the disease has spread beyond the ovaries, but even early stage ovarian cancer can cause them. The most common symptoms include:
pelvic or abdominal pain
trouble eating or feeling full quickly
urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)
These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal -- for example, they occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
Others symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
pain during sex
However, these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions, and they occur just about as often in women who do not have ovarian cancer.
If there is reason to suspect you may have ovarian cancer, your doctor will use one or more tests or procedures to be absolutely certain that the disease is present and to determine the stage of the cancer.
Consultation with a specialist
If your pelvic exam or other tests suggest that you may have ovarian cancer, you will need a doctor or surgeon who specializes in treating women with this type of cancer. A gynecologic oncologist is an obstetrician/gynecologist who is specially trained in treating cancers of the female reproductive system.