September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Among the leading causes of death in American women, ovarian cancer is the fourth. An estimated 14,000 people die from ovarian cancer every year, while approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed with the disease.
The major setback in combating this form of gynecologic cancer is the lack of effective screening method. The Pap test, which is invaluable for screening cervical cancer, does not work for ovarian cancer. In fact, around 75 percent of patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed when they are already in the late stage. During the first stage of the disease where the cancer has not yet spread beyond the ovary, around 90 percent of patients survive for five years.
According to Mount Sinai Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment Program director Dr. David Fishman, the “only effective way to prevent” ovarian cancer is to know who is at risk of developing it. In honor of September being Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, here are three crucial prevention (and detection) tips for ovarian cancer.
Know The Health Risks That Run Within Family History
If there is a history of melanoma, as well as breast, thyroid, endometrial, and colon cancers, in one’s family, consult with a board-certified genetic counselor and get an ovarian cancer risk assessment. A woman may be carrying BRCA and HNPCC, two genetic mutations that cause at least ten percent of ovarian cancers.
Use of Oral Contraceptives
If a female has been taking oral contraceptives for a long time, then they lower by around 50 percent their chances of developing ovarian cancer. According to a fact sheet released by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, long-term use of oral contraceptives also lowers endometrial cancer risk but can increase a woman’s risk for benign liver tumors, cervical cancer, and breast cancer.
Be Mindful of the Symptoms
Anything that isn’t normal, should be heeded.
Because early detection of ovarian cancer is crucial, it helps to pay close attention to the body. Among the symptoms to watch out for are bloated abdomen, difficulty in eating or feeling full fast while eating, abnormal vaginal bleeding, constipation or diarrhea, changes in urinary habits, as well as pain or pressure in the abdomen, back, legs, or pelvis.
An Ovarian Cancer Survivor’s Story
In 2013, a young woman named Laura Brenner was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer at the age of 31 after mentioning to her doctor that she felt abnormal pressure in her abdomen. Doctors found cancerous cysts and removed her left ovary, left fallopian tube and a part of her diaphragm. They recommended chemotherapy and radiation, but after some research she elected to instead adopt an entirely holistic, raw vegan diet along with exploring alternative medicines.
Going on 7 years cancer free, Laura Brenner has founded a company named Sugar and Kush based off her experiences with alternative medicine and CBD oil. While she admits that her decision to forego chemo and radiation therapy, instead looking for more holistic alternatives, may not be the best decision for everyone that finds themselves facing cancer, she wanted to pass on her experiences and what she learned to the world to help people make informed decisions.
Always be mindful of the subtle signs that the body sends. Consult a physician if higher risks are expected due to family history or if unsure of what certain symptoms may mean. Early detection and treatment is essential.
Laura Brenner is available for immediate media interviews around her experience with naturally healing her ovarian cancer and how she used her cancer survival as a catalyst to start a business and education others about the benefits of using CBD based products for their own wellness.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sugar & Kush CBD Products
53 Wanaque Ave Suite 2, Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442