This World Ovarian Cancer Day, we are calling for greater awareness of one of the deadliest women’s cancers worldwide.
On average, four Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day. What’s more, there are limited treatments for this devastating disease.
This year the IR Department team participated in Witchery’s White Shirt Campaign that supports research into ovarian cancer by donating all proceeds to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
The majority of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at a late stage. This is due to a lack of understanding of the disease and a vague symptom list. Women who have had cancer of the breast, uterus, colon or rectum or have a family history of these cancers have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
In 2019, there will be 1,501 new women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia, and the estimated death total from this disease is 1,046 women. With no tests to effectively screen for ovarian cancer, many cases go undiagnosed for years - 53% of diagnoses are categorised as “distant stage ovarian cancer”, meaning the tumour has spread to different organs.
This is double the percentage (25%) where the tumour is confined to one or both ovaries and can be contained within reason. Three in four women with ovarian cancer live for at least one year after diagnosis. The chances of surviving at least five years is 45.7%. However, there are a variety of treatments including, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and other drug therapies.
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- abdominal bloating
- difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- frequent or urgent urination
- back, abdominal or pelvic pain
- menstrual irregularities
- pain during sexual intercourse.
If you feel like you have these symptoms, please contact your doctor or health care professional.
Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation: https://ocrf.com.au/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/
Cancer Australia: https://ovarian-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/statistics
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
Ovarian Cancer Australia: https://ovariancancer.net.au/know-ovarian-cancer/signs-and-symptoms/
Marie Claire magazine: https://www.marieclaire.com.au/ovarian-cancer-diagnosis