Ovarian Cancer: What women need to know

Ovarian Cancer is the eighth deadliest cancer in women, but it has a good treatment rate if detected early.

Nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bitner, talks about the risks of ovarian cancer, and the signs to look out for.

It's important for women to keep track of their family's medical history to make sure they're not at high risk of having ovarian cancer. Women are at a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer if they have:

  • BRCA 1 or 2 Gene Mutation.
  • Family history of ovarian cancer in a first degree relative (mom or a sister).
  • Strong family history of breast or colon cancer.
  • Easter European or Ashkenazi Jewish decent.
  • Lynch Syndrome.
  • Personal history of breast or uterine cancer.

Even if women don't have a family history of ovarian cancer, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of the disease such as:

  • Bloating.
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain.
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Urinary symptoms like urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often.)

Dr. Bitner says that women can be somewhat protected from ovarian cancer if they take birth control for more than five years, have multiple babies, have a tubal ligation, have removal of their tubes or ovaries if they're already at risk, or have a hysterectomy after 50.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.

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