Ovarian cancer is diagnosed in nearly a quarter of a million women globally each year. It is the eighth most common cancer in women and the seventh leading cause of cancer death among women, responsible for approximately 140,000 deaths each year. In Lebanon, there are 171 cases diagnosed each year as per the latest National Cancer Registry estimate.
“Our mission is to spread awareness among the public to create a more health conscious society,” said Leila Koleilat, Communications Manager at Hoffmann-La Roche. “If we actively talk about the signs and symptoms of the ovarian cancer we will be empowering women with the proper knowledge to know their bodies and what to look for in order to help themselves,” she added.
Dr. Muhieddine Seoud, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center stressed the importance of spreading awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms. “The prognosis for ovarian cancer patients is poor, particularly when the disease is diagnosed in its later stages. Symptoms are ambiguous and often misdiagnosed so the majority of patients are only identified in the advanced stages of the disease. Ovarian cancer is therefore often referred to as “The Silent Killer”. If found in the early stages, up to 90% of women will survive for more than five years,” he said.
Early diagnosis has the potential to improve survival rates but symptoms of ovarian cancer, particularly in the early stages may be ambiguous and non-specific making early diagnosis difficult. They can be confused with symptoms of other less severe diseases, particularly gastrointestinal complaints. In addition, there is no routine, simple test to accurately and reliably detect ovarian cancer in the general population so reliable screening for the disease is not yet feasible.
Being aware of the frequency and combination of certain symptoms can help with early diagnosis. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Persistent bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular periods
- Loss of appetite
- Change in bowel movements – constipation, excess wind
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Wednesday, November 2- 2011 @ 10:45 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.