The main reason why ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecological cancer is because it is usually detected late or at a late stage, and also this cancer has the highest mortality rate.
Highest rate of women suffering from ovarian cancer arefrom Europe, especially in the regions of Eastern and Northern Europe. In 2012 this number reached a milestone of 65 000 patients, making this disease the sixth most common cancer among women in Europe. About 250,000 women a year get sick from the cancer.
Because of the late detection of this cancer, only 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survive five years after being diagnosed. This is because the cancer is in a advanced stage. If the cancer is detected early, this percentage can be increased to 95%.
Age does not play any role with this cancer because it can develop among women of all ages, but is most likely to occur in women that are 50 or older. More than 50% of the infected cases are women aged 65 and older. The highest incidence of ovarian cancer is in the industrialized countries. African – American and Asian women are at lower risk than women with white skin.
The risk of developing the disease increases with the age. Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic cancer and the fifth most common cancer among American women. Representing 4% of all cancers that affect women. However, the mortality rate for ovarian cancer is higher than for any other cancer that affects women, because of its late detection.
Symptoms and signs
Usually there are early signs of the disease. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as the silent killer, because women are either not aware of what they have, or the symptoms are not precisely diagnosed until the disease is advanced.
The following symptoms are considered as the main warning signs of ovarian cancer, but there can be many other reasons.
- Pelvic pressure or frequent urination
- Digestive symptoms such as gas, indigestion, constipation or a feeling of fullness after a light meal, bloating, cramping, and abdominal discomfort.
- Unexplained changes in bowel
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- pain during intercourse
- Vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal women