Black Women and Ovarian Cancer

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FACT: Early detection of ovarian cancer is critical. However, the symptoms can be very vague, making them difficult to identify in order to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

The Basics: What are ovaries?

You have two ovaries that are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries make female sex hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, and produce eggs. Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and for the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as breast development.

Ovarian cancer develops from cells found in the ovaries that become malignant and grow out of control.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

The symptoms of Ovarian Cancer can be very vague. It is important to pay close attention to changes in your body that have to do with the following symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urgent Need to Urinate
  • Fatigue
  • Upset Stomach

It is important to note that these symptoms can easily be mistaken for other conditions.

How do you know if you are at risk for ovarian cancer?

According to the CDC, all females are at risk for ovarian cancer, but older women are more likely to be affected by this disease than younger women. About 90% of women who get ovarian cancer are older than 40 years of age, with the greatest number of cases occurring in women aged 60 years or older.

Most risk factors for ovarian cancer are still unknown. Doctors/researchers believe that endometriosis, a family history of ovarian cancer, and increased age, are factors that may contribute to ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society states that obesity and poor diet can increase the risk as well

When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective!

Ovarian Cancer FAQ