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Annette Mattern: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer January 4, 2009

Posted by patoconnor in cancer, gynecological cancer, ovarian cancer, tubal cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer.
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Annette Mattern: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

“How do I know if I have ovarian cancer?” the question most asked by women about the disease that, for years, was called the silent killer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among U.S. women and yet, most women know very little about it.
What you should know:

1. Every woman is at risk.
2. One is 72 women will develop ovarian cancer; one in 95 women will die from it.
3. Increased risk factors:
• Personal history of breast cancer
• Family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
• BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, responsible for 5-10% of ovarian cancers. Women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at higher risk of carrying these mutations.
4. There is no screening tool, not even the PAP, so it is critical that women recognize the symptoms as early as possible.
• Stage I recurrence rate is only 10%.
• Stage III or IV (about 75% of cases) recur 85-95% of the time. Their 5-year survival rate is only 46%.
5. 95% of women with ovarian cancer experience symptoms, 90% at early stage. Symptoms:
• Bloating
• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Difficulty eating or feeling full too quickly
• Urinary urgency or frequency

Other symptoms: fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.

What you should do:

If you exhibit persistent symptoms for more than a few weeks and this is not normal for your body, see a gynecologist. Your exam may include a CA-125 blood test, pelvic exam, and a trans-vaginal ultrasound. The only conclusive way to determine if it is cancer is by performing a biopsy.

Help spread the word.

Most women with ovarian cancer were misdiagnosed for years while their cancer spread. An earlier diagnosis is a woman’s best hope for a good prognosis.

Bio notes:
Annette Mattern is a 21-year survivor of ovarian cancer and recently survived breast cancer. She is the founder and president of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona and serves on the board of directors of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Her book on survival, Outside The Lines of Love, Life, and Cancer, is available on http://www.amazon.com.

Links: http://www.ocaz.org
http://www.ovariancancer.org

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Know your risk of breast-ovarian cancer syndrome November 23, 2008

Posted by patoconnor in cancer, gynecological cancer, ovarian cancer, tubal cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer.
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Know your risk of breast-ovarian cancer syndrome

By Cindy Ward (ward@wsbt.com)

Story Updated: Nov 21, 2008 at 6:01 PM EST

Early detection saves lives. This is even more important if you have a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Studies show there is a link between the two diseases.

Dr. Michael Method is a gynecological oncologist. He says having breast cancer can put you at increased risk for ovarian cancer over time and vice versa. It’s called breast-ovarian cancer syndrome.

“Anyone who has ovarian cancer is not only high risk of developing breast cancer, they’re much higher risk of being a carrier of the gene that actually predisposes them and their family to breast cancer,” Method explained.

The increased risk is connected to mutations in what are called the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Knowing your risk gives you the advantage.

There is preventative action you can take. For instance, getting a mammogram at an earlier age, and doing your self-exam.

Remember, we’ve partnered with Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center to bring you the Pink Pack program.

Here’s how it works:

You pick a friend to be your Pink Pack Pal. Then you request a Pink Pack.

You’ll get a breast self-exam guide, a pen and a kitchen magnet — one for you and one for your Pink Pack Pal. We’ll remind you on the 22nd of every month to call your Pink Pal and remind her to do her breast self-exam. And remember to do yours the same day. Early detection saves lives.

Become a member of the Pink Pack right away — it could save a life.

wsbt/new