THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Compared to other cancers, ovarian cancer is relatively rare.
It is estimated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) that there are over 238,000 new cases diagnosed annually and nearly 152,000 deaths worldwide.
Ovarian cancer typically occurs in women in their 50’s and 60’s. Women with a family history of ovarian cancer have an increased risk for the disease.
OVARIAN CANCER SYMPTOMS
The most common symptoms include: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating, feeling full quickly, and always feeling like you have “to go”. These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs.
When the symptoms are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms more than 12 times a month, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist. (www.cancer.org)
OVARIAN CANCER STATISTICS
The number of new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States was 11.7 per 100,000 women per year based on 2010-2014 cases. (https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/ovary.html)
According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 22,440 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017. Unfortunately, 14,080 women will die from this disease. About half of all women with the disease are never referred to a gynecologic oncologist.
Without increased education about ovarian cancer, many women & their doctors will continue to ignore or misinterpret the symptoms of the disease.
OVARIAN CANCER TREATMENT
Ovarian cancer is treated with one or a combination of treatments, most commonly surgery and chemotherapy. Treatment options depend on several factors, including:
- The type and stage of cancer
- Possible side effects
- Overall health of the patient
- The age of the patient
- Personal considerations (i.e., if the woman is planning to have children)
UTILIZING BOTH CONVENTIONAL & NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE FOR TREATMENT
Naturopathic Medicine is an approach to health care that treats the whole person through the use of natural therapies. During ovarian cancer treatment, patients may experience pain and discomfort. Our Naturopathic Doctor (ND) can work alongside a patient’s Oncologist to recommend a variety of naturopathic therapies which can help treat nausea, heartburn, bloating and other digestive issues. The Naturopathic Doctor can also monitor a patient’s supplement intake to prevent potential drug/herb interactions.
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