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Ovarian Cancer: Take Symptoms Seriously

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Joined: 27 Apr 2004
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:25 am    Post subject: Ovarian Cancer: Take Symptoms Seriously Reply with quote

Everyone knows that Ovarian Cancer is silent killer and I don't think we can be reminded enough to be cautious of any changes in our bodies. Here is an article from WebMD that reminds us of some things and lists some symptoms. Don't forget to get a CA-125 blood test done to have as a marker, then another one done a few years later to see if your cancer cells have risen enough to be concerned about. Look out for yourselves!!!!!

Article from WebMD

Ovarian Cancer: Take Symptoms Seriously

Doctors, Patients Should Discuss, Investigate Vague Symptoms

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD
on Tuesday, June 08, 2004

June 8, 2004 -- New research sheds light on symptoms of ovarian cancer, often referred to as a "silent killer." A cluster of symptoms -- increased bloating and abdominal size, pressure to urinate, constipation, and abdominal pain -- should not be overlooked, say study authors.

"Women need to be aware of this cluster [of symptoms]," researcher Lynn S. Mandel, PhD, with the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington in Seattle. "It doesn't mean they have ovarian cancer. But the symptoms should be investigated to see what it is. It could be a malignancy, or it could be something else -- an ovarian cyst or endometriosis."

Mandel's study, which appears in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, should also be a wake-up call for doctors, says Ira Horowitz, MD, vice chairman and director of gynecologic oncology at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta.

"Ovarian cancer is very silent in the early stages ... any symptoms are usually vague, nonspecific, and doctors tend to blow them off," Horowitz tells WebMD. "This study tells us that we need to heed those vague symptoms. They are screaming for our attention. We need to think of ovarian cancer first -- not last."

Indeed, many women see numerous doctors for their symptoms, including gastrointestinal specialists, before ovarian cancer is even suspected. And, unfortunately, the symptoms are most noticeable when cancer is advanced -- not in the early stages, Horowitz tells WebMD. "When the mass [in the ovary] is significant in size, that's when symptoms are more intense. Then it's too late."

It all points to the need for better -- and ongoing -- doctor-patient communication, writes Mary B. Daly, MD, PhD, in an accompanying editorial. "The early diagnosis of ovarian cancer must rely on the elusive practice of [the doctor's] judgment ... and thoughtful dialogue between patient and physician."

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