September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,980 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties -average age being 63. Many women who are diagnosed with Ovarian cancer have a genetic history that may include carrying the BRCA mutation gene and having a strong family history of this disease. Unfortunately many women don’t seek help until the cancer has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the 5 year survival rate is more than 93%.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. Increased abdominal size or persistent bloating, problems easting and feeling full fast, abdominal or pelvic pain and needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently are some symptoms of Ovarian cancer. It is recommended that you see your gynecologist, if you have these symptoms more than 12 times during the course of one month and the symptoms are new or unusual to you. Learning about and understanding your treatment options are critical for an ovarian cancer patients. All treatment decisions should be made by consulting with your physician and deciding what’s right for you. The most standard treatment for ovarian cancer consists of debulking surgery followed by chemotherapy.
At some point, with any life-limiting illness, a decision may have to be made about the benefits versus the burdens of certain courses of treatment. What matters most may not be more time, but the ability to more fully enjoy the time we have without exhausting treatments and hospital stays. At this point you may want to consider hospice services. With hospice you’re still in control. Hospice care is centered on palliative care, which is the management of pain and symptoms so that every moment can be as comfortable as possible. Traditional medicine treats the disease, but hospice attends, with compassion and respect, to the whole patient-physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Click on the link below for more information on Ovarian Cancer. For more information about hospice services and how we can help, give us a call at 702-636-0200