Doctors Identify Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer

One could argue that the following official announcement is only to increase diagnostic testing for profits. After all, symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, feeling full quickly or frequent or urgent urination could also be caused by less serious concerns like intestinal dysbiosis or yeast overgrowth, food sensitivity or Irritable Bowel Syndrome ((BS). However, these problems are usually associated with long term symptoms and unlikely to be due to cancer unless the symptoms have been getting progressively worse.

Two questions one should consider with any kind of symptom; (1 When did the symptom start?  2) Did anything change in life events or dietary intake (including medications) shortly before the appearance of symptoms? If the onset of symptoms is fairly recent and seems to have come on suddenly for no apparent reason, it's best to have it checked to rule out possibilities like cancer.

John W. Cartmell, MS

Doctors Identify Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer
Wednesday, June 13, 2007,2933,281653,00.html

Cancer experts have identified health problems that may be symptoms of ovarian cancer and are urging women who have had the symptoms for more than a few weeks to see their doctors immediately.

The story was first reported by the New York Times.

The advice is the first official recognition that the deadly disease, long believed to give no warning until it was in its advanced stages, causes early symptoms in many women.

Doctors say women who have had the following symptoms nearly every day for more than two to three weeks should see their gynecologists, especially if the symptoms are new:
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
  • Difficulty Eating or Feeling Full Quickly
  • Feeling a Frequent or Urgent Need to Urinate.
Doctors hope the recommendations will make patients and doctors aware of early symptoms, lead to earlier diagnosis and, perhaps, save lives, or at least prolong survival.

But it is too soon to tell whether the new measures will work or whether they will lead to a flood of diagnostic tests or even unnecessary operations.

The majority of the time, this won't be ovarian cancer, but it's just something that should be considered," said Dr. Barbara Goff, director of gynecologic oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of several studies that helped identify the relevant symptoms.

Cancer experts say early detection is key to saving lives when it comes to ovarian cancer. Of the 22,430 anticipated new cases this year in the U.S., 15,280 deaths are expected.

If the cancer is found and surgically removed early, before it spreads outside the ovary, 93 percent of patients live beyond five years. Only 19 percent of cases are found that early, and 45 percent of all women with the disease survive at least five years after the diagnosis.

By contrast, among women with breast cancer, 89 percent survive five years or more.

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