Silent Killer: Ovarian Cancer

In women age 35 to 74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Posted: 07/29/2013 08:48 PM EDT

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovaries. An ovary is one of two small, almond-shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that store eggs or germ cells and produce female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

What is the general outlook for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer?

In women age 35 to 74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. An estimated one woman in 71 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed this year and that more than 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.

When one is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Due to ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests, only 19 percent of all cases are found at this early stage. If caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 30.6 percent. Due to the nature of the disease, each woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer has a different profile and it is impossible to provide a general prognosis.

Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. This is partly due to the fact that these two small, almond shaped organs are deep within the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the uterus.

Learn more about ovarian cancer and its symptoms at BlackHealthMatters.Com.

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(Photo: GettyImages)

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