Ovarian cancer is a deadly form of cancer - it kills more women than any other type of cancer of the reproductive system. If diagnosed and treated early, however the survival rate is quite high.
Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is known as a silent disease - it produces no symptoms until it is in its later stages, so the death rate is also quite high.
Ovarian cancer is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive system. It affects approximately 1 in 70 American women at some point in their lives. The risk of developing ovarian cancer heightens past the age of 40 and menopause further increases the risk.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause or causes of ovarian cancer are not known. Risk factors include :
Signs and Symptoms
Often there are no obvious symptoms until the cancer is in its later stages of development. These symptoms may include enlargement of the abdomen, diarrhea or constipation, frequent urination, or in rare cases, vaginal bleeding.
Detection and Diagnosis
Any enlargement of the abdomen or persistent digestive disturbances that cannot be explained by any other condition should prompt you to see a gynaecologist for an examination.
Women who have a family history of ovarian cancer may want to be tested for genes with which it has been associated. Routine pelvic exams can detect a hardened or enlarged ovary or an ovarian growth, while Pap smears are not very useful in detecting this.
A tumour may also show up on a transvaginal ultrasound. A biopsy is needed to confirm any suspicions.
Dietary and Nutritional Factors
A diet that is high in fiber and low in saturated animal fats is a good defense against ovarian cancer. Quercetin has been found to have properties that protect against ovarian cancer. Low levels of selenium have been associated with a greater risk of ovarian cancer.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !