Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Healthy Habits: Ovarian Cancer

Back pain, bloating, and fatigue…what woman hasn’t experienced these symptoms at least once in her lifetime?

As women age, some may write off aches and pains as daily routine. Unfortunately, when these common symptoms persist, they could be a serious sign of ovarian cancer.[i] Women may also be surprised to know that even though the rate of ovarian cancer has been slowly falling over the past 20 years[ii]:

·         There are approximately 225,000 women in the US living with ovarian cancer, many of whom were diagnosed when their disease was already in advanced stages
·         About 14,070 women will die from ovarian cancer this year
·         About 22,240 will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer   
·         Only 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage[iii]
·         Approximately 85% of women with advanced ovarian cancer will recur after treatment[iv], and once recurrence occurs, the disease is considered incurable

The good news is that new treatments, known as maintenance treatments, are now available for women whose disease has recurred and has either fully or partially responded to chemotherapy. These treatments can help extend the time between potential recurrences, also known as progression-free survival. While listening to your body and knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer is crucial for early diagnosis, these new treatments help to empower women by providing new options to delay disease progression when previously, observation was the only option.  

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and I have a chance to post this interview with leading gynecologic oncologist Dr. Robert Holloway who discusses new treatments for recurrent ovarian cancer. Joining her is Anne, who shares her personal experience with the disease, and how she was able to persevere and overcome challenges despite her diagnosis.

Interview courtesy of TESARO, Inc.

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