Ovarian Cancer Awareness: Signs Symptoms and Stories of Survival

Ovarian Cancer Awareness: Even after eight months since January 25, 2023, June Salazar remembers it vividly. She was shocked to learn she had Stage 1 ovarian cancer. Approximately 1 in 78 women have this dangerous disease, often undetected due to mild symptoms.

Salazar aims to raise awareness about ovarian cancer as September marks the start of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. She ignored danger signs until they became overwhelming.

Before his diagnosis, Salazar experienced bloating, cramps, and hip pain. She went to the ER due to severe pain. Doctors warned her that her life would change after scans revealed ovarian lumps.

Cancer diagnosis followed surgery for confirmation. Her eggs, fallopian tubes, and cervix were removed. Nothing was left. Dr. Yasmin Lyons, a gynecologic oncologist, emphasizes the significance of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the 6th leading cause of cancer death in women. Lyon’s message, like Salazar’s, is about life-saving signs.

Unfortunately, there is no reliable way to detect ovarian cancer, leading to late detection. Signs include increased bathroom trips, quicker fullness, and stomach pain. Higher-risk groups for ovarian cancer include middle-aged or older women, those with a family history of ovarian cancer, Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jews, women who have never given birth, or those with fertility issues.

CT scans, images, ultrasounds, CA-125 blood tests, and pelvic exams are commonly used for diagnosis. Dr. James Wilder, a gynecologic oncologist, advises monitoring persistent symptoms.

Despite the difficulty in treating ovarian cancer, advancements in treatments have improved patient survival rates. On her path to recovery, Salazar underwent chemotherapy and a hysterectomy. On August 31, she announced she was cancer-free.

Despite the possibility of Salazar’s cancer returning, she remains hopeful and deeply loves her family. Cancer doesn’t discriminate based on wealth or character. This is what she’s learned from dealing with it. After receiving the news, she sought solace in her knowledge. She read many books and kept her strong spirit.

Our Reader’s Queries

Is there a ovarian cancer Awareness Month?

In September, we focus on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It’s crucial for women to have the most up-to-date information about this harmful disease, which is projected to claim the lives of over 13,000 women in the U.S. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is dedicated to providing women with the knowledge they need to stay informed and empowered in the fight against ovarian cancer.

What color ribbon is ovarian cancer?

“Ovarian cancer is represented by a teal color, which is often mistaken for the light blue color associated with prostate cancer,” noted Kirk. “During September, when buildings are illuminated to raise awareness for both cancers, the teal and light blue colors can be confused. This can lead to misidentification of which cancer is being supported.”

What is the life expectancy for ovarian cancer?

The chances of surviving ovarian cancer vary depending on the stage at diagnosis. According to the SEER data, the five-year survival rates are as follows: 93.1% for women diagnosed in the early stage, 74.5% for women diagnosed in the intermediate stage, and 30.8% for women diagnosed in the advanced stage. These numbers show how likely it is for patients to still be alive five years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and emphasize the importance of early detection for better outcomes.

When is ovarian cancer Awareness Day 2023?

Join us in our shared global commitment to combat this disease at the 11th World Ovarian Cancer event on May 8, 2023. Let’s come together to fight this disease on a global scale.