Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month 2020 – Risk Factors

It is important that women know some of the factors that may increase their risk of developing ovarian cancer. If a woman has any of these risks, it doesn’t necessarily mean she will get it. It just means she is at higher risk than the general population.

Ovarian Cancer Risks

If there is a known history of ovarian, breast, or colon cancer in a family, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor about genetic testing. After her mother died of ovarian cancer, Angelina Jolie brought the BRACA gene into the news when she tested positive for one of the mutations and had preventative surgery.

Ten years ago I was a newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patient just beginning my treatments. The only risk factors that increased my chance of getting it were my age (59 at the time of diagnosis) and being post-menopausal. The only person in my family that I knew of who had cancer before me was my maternal aunt who had breast cancer.

A few years after my treatments were finished, I saw a genetic counselor and was tested for the BRACA1 and BRACA2 genetic mutation. My test was negative. A later genetic test found I was positive for Lynch Syndrome which can make a person at higher risk for colon, ovarian, and some other cancers.

So why did I get ovarian cancer? I will probably never know the answer to that.

I just know that every morning I am grateful to wake up above ground. Every day is a gift!

This year I am dedicating the month of September to ovarian cancer awareness. Look for more Teal Tuesday posts.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month 2020

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S.

Teal is the color that represents ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Facts:

Ovarian cancer is the # 1 cause of gynecologic cancer deaths.

Ovarian cancer is the #5 cause of cancer related deaths in women.

Ovarian cancer is the #11 most common cancer in women.

Every 23 minutes another woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States.

1 in 78 women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime.

21,750 women will be diagnosed this year, and 13,940 women will die from ovarian cancer this year.

There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer. A pap smear DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer.

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full after a few bites
  • Urinary urgency/frequency
  • Menstrual irregularities

Please be your own advocate and listen to your body. If you have these symptoms and they persist, please see your doctor. Early detection is the best way to beat this horrible disease.

This year I am dedicating the month of September to ovarian cancer awareness. Look for more Teal Tuesday posts.

Statistical information from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance “What you need to know about Ovarian Cancer”