|Each year, September is named as National Ovarian Cancer Month. This awareness month was initiated as a way to educate communities on the importance of early detection and intervention in the fight against ovarian cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, ovarian cancer only affects a small percentage of women, but because women are more likely to have symptoms once the disease has spread, it can become dangerous. However, research has shown that the survival rate for women with ovarian cancer has steadily improved in recent years, thanks to increased awareness about the disease. For those impacted by ovarian cancer, early detection is often the most important factor in determining treatment success.
It is estimated that in 2019, approximately 22,530 women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer while 13,980 women will die from the disease. On average, the five-year survival rate of ovarian cancer is 46%. However, according to the American Cancer Society, when ovarian cancer is found at an early, localized stage, 94% of patients are able to live longer than five years. Unfortunately, only one in five women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at this stage. Unlike many other types of cancers, ovarian cancer is often difficult to diagnosis at early stages due to limited testing options and the lack of early warning signs or symptoms. Moreover, while ovarian cancer is common in women over the age of 63 and those with a family history, there are often a number of women who are diagnosed with the disease that do not fall into these risk categories. Read the full article.