About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States

The Facts

  • A womans’ lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 58
  • Currently there are no effective means of early detection
  • Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in advanced stages

Signs and Symptoms

  • Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea and indigestions
  • Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling an/or pain; bloating and/or feeling of fullness
  • Unexplained change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination
  • Ongoing unusual fatigue
  • New and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal bleeding

Although there is no consistently-reliable screening test to detect ovarian cancer, the following tests are available and should be offered to women, especially those at high risk for ovarian cancer.

  • Pelvic Exam
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound
  • CA-125 Test

The pap test does not detect ovarian cancer. It determines the cancer of the cervix. At present, there is no known method to prevent ovarian cancer, but some things appear to reduce a woman’s risk of developing the disease. They include:

  • Oral Contraceptive
  • Pregnancies and Breastfeeding
  • Hysterectomy may reduce but not completely eliminate the risk
  • Prophylactic oopharectomy (removal of the ovaries) or tubal ligation may reduce but not completely eliminate risk

For additional information please visit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, NOCC.