Ovarian cancer is the biggest killer amongst all of the female cancers. Nearly 80% of those treated for ovarian cancer will experience a recurrence. The chances of death within the first five years of treatment is nearly 50%, no matter if it is stage 2,3, or 4. These grim statistics are now a reality for my own life. I am an ovarian cancer survivor.
One reason ovarian cancer is so deadly is because it is very difficult to detect. Often, by the time it is diagnosed, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. There is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer like there is for breast cancer and cervical cancer. It can only be detected through an exam by an Ob/Gyn. So, it is important for all women to make an effort to get those yearly exams.
There is a tumor marker,CA-125, in the blood that may show the presence of ovarian cancer. It is not used as a screening procedure because it is not reliable enough. However, in cases where a woman is at a high risk, the CA-125 marker may be used to alert a Dr. for further testing.
A woman’s worst nightmare is the diagnosis of cancer. Yet, early detection is the best way to prevent any cancer from spreading and growing. Take care of yourself and take the time to get your yearly exam. It could save your life.
by Jean Wensink