Today, Dr. Oz is issuing his biggest call to action yet a national break-the-silence on ovarian cancer campaign.Below is a fact sheet about ovarian cancer, an explanation on why so many doctors misdiagnose this disease; why this disease is so deadly and how ovarian cancer spreads, and what the four early warning signs are.
Why are doctors misdiagnosing so many women?
The symptoms of ovarian cancer mimic so many other less dangerous conditions. In a survey done by the University of Washington, out of 1700 women with ovarian cancer, 36% had been given the wrong diagnosis and 12% were told it was all in their heads.
Ovarian cancer takes the lives of 2 out of 3 women diagnosed. Why is it so deadly?
Only 15% of ovarian cancer is caught early. By the time its typically caught, its already spread. Catching it early increases 5-year survival odds from 30% to over 90%.
Dr. Oz teamed up with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to create a revolutionary one-sheet. It is the best weapon against a misdiagnosis. What are the early warning signs?
First Early Warning Sign: Bloating Bloating is so common, but when should women worry? The key is to look for changes. If the bloating is new, occurs almost daily and persists more than two to three weeks, you need to see a doctor.Second Early Warning Sign: Pelvic or Abdominal Pain Ovarian cancer causes pelvic or abdominal pain because of the way it grows. The peritoneal surface is like saran wrap, with nerves on it, so it is sensitive to distention and movement. Women who have pain should also address how bad the pain is at its worst on a scale of 1 to 10 1 being mild and 10 is severe.Third Early Warning Sign: Difficulty Eating or Feeling Full Quickly The question women need to answer is: how much of their meal can they typically eat before they feel full? When the ovary releases chemicals and slows the gut down, it makes the transit times through the intestines slower. Women can experience constipation but also can have difficulty eating because things aren't moving and making room for food. Then as the cancer spreads, it can actually implant on the intestine and cause partial blockages, which then can create nausea, vomiting and difficulty in eating.Fourth Early Warning Sign: Feeling a Frequent or Urgent Need to Urinate So many doctors dismiss this symptom as a UTI or bladder infection. You can tell the difference between that and something more serious by using a dipstick test. Ask your doctor for it when you have chronic symptoms every day for more than 2 weeks.Print out this Ovarian Cancer Checklist Of Symptoms and take it to your doctor's office if you feel you have several of these symptoms.