New guidelines for early detection of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of any gynaecological cancer. Because the physical signs are not readily detectable and the symptoms are vague and non-specific, most cases are detected at advanced stages and have a very poor prognosis.
One of the aims of the guidelines is to facilitate early diagnosis by increasing awareness of symptoms and signs.
The advise in the UK, is for primary care professionals to measure serum concentrations of the protein CA125 if a woman (especially if older than 50 years) presents on a persistent or frequent basis with abdominal distension, feeling full or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal pain, or increased urinary frequency.
If the blood test is positive, an ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis should be done and, if ovarian cancer is suggested, the woman should be referred to a specialist.
Although not perfect, by increasing the number of blood tests and ultrasounds, this new strategy should raise awareness and promote early diagnosis in primary care.
Volume 377, Issue 9777
, Page 1544, 7 May 2011)
Don't ignore the following symptoms:
Difficulty eating (getting full very soon)
Increase in abdominal size
Lower back pain
Any of these symptoms if it is new to you and persists more than 2 weeks, see your Dr.
Many patients with ovarian cancer have been wrongly diagnosed as having:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Urinary Tract Infections
Don't ignore the signs, you know your body better than any one else. Seek a second opinion.
When diagnosed early, you might loose an ovary, but you will keep your life and you could even have a child with your other ovary intact.
Better still, make sure that you have a life style that promotes health and you have an anti-inflammatory diet and eat foods that help prevent cancer.
Start with your breakfast: