ovarian cancer—the other women's cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are hard to detect and equally difficult to diagnose. That’s because bloating, abdominal pain, difficulty eating and urinary urgency or frequency are problems women commonly experience. Many women, though, unaware of the subtle clues that ovarian cancer presents, ignore the only warning signs they may ever get. As a result, they seek medical attention only when symptoms become more pronounced and their condition has dangerously progressed. Even then, the disease is one that is not likely to be recognized immediately.
Now the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, ovarian cancer claims more deaths than any other gynecological cancer. It is a disease that ought to be more understandable, and therefore, more preventable.
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, “About 220,000 cases of ovarian cancer occur each year [worldwide], predominantly among postmenopausal women in developed countries…”¹ Of that number, 22,280 women in the United States will be diagnosed this year alone. Sadly, 77% of them will be diagnosed after the cancer has advanced, when treatment options are most limited and prognosis is grim.²
Despite advancements in surgery and chemotherapy treatments, the overall five-year survival rate for women with advanced stage ovarian cancer has remained constant over the past 30 years at approximately 15%. Conversely, those women diagnosed with the early stage (Stage I) of the disease have an overall five-year survival rate approaching 90-95%. Clearly, early detection of ovarian cancer is the best way to improve survival.
We live in a world without a definitive test for early markers of ovarian cancer. Right now, it is far more likely that a woman will be a victim of ovarian cancer than a survivor of it. Meanwhile, progress against the disease is still in its infancy. In the current state of modern medicine, ovarian cancer can only be treated reactively instead of proactively.
That’s why Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer was founded. And now, you and your company can be part of its success in the fight against ovarian cancer. Together, we can even the odds against this insidious disease.
1. Stewart BW, et al. World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer World Cancer Report. IARC Press, 2003;215.
2. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/index. Accessed on 12/09/08.