GMW spotlights "Ovarian Cancer Awareness" with Jen Coken
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SPOTLIGHT ON OVARIAN CANCER

On the final day of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month I had the exciting opportunity to be interviewed on ABC 7′s Good Morning Washington to talk about the statistics, symptoms and solutions for ovarian cancer. 

Please take a few minutes to view the video and read the highlights below. You may literally save a life in doing so.

Here are the most important things to remember:

  1. Every woman is at risk of ovarian cancer no matter their age, race or ethnicity. 
  2. There is no test for ovarian cancer because there are 20 different types.
  3. Your annual PAP Smear tests for Cervical Cancer NOT Ovarian Cancer.

Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadliest cancers because the symptoms mirror those that women have every month so approximately 80% is caught at Stage 3 or 4. At that point most women have less than a 30% chance of living more than five years. Thus, it is up to us to monitor our symptoms. 

Here is a way to remember the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: Remember this acronym B.E.A.T.:

B = Bloating

E = Feeling full after eating or not being able to eat as much as you used to

A = Abdominal Pain

T = trouble urinating or more frequency of urination

If you or someone you know has these symptoms for more than 2 weeks and they are not alleviated through a change in diet or exercise, see your gynecologist immediately.

She can do a pelvic examination to determine whether you ovaries are enlarged. If they are, she can send you for a trans-vaginal ultrasound or a recto-vaginal ultrasound for women over 35. From there you may need to do a CT Scan. Ultimately the only way to confirm an ovarian cancer diagnosis is to biopsy tissue.

If you have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer or are of Ashkanezi Jewish descent make sure to request a genetic test for the BRCA 1 or 2 gene. A positive test indicates that you have have a higher likelihood of breast or ovarian cancer. (Ashkanezi Jews are 10 times more likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer than the rest of the population). If you do test positive, you and your doctor can determine your next steps. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at jencoken@gmail.com