Ovarian Cancer Awareness month: what you should know

MARQUETTE — Have you seen anyone wearing a light blue ribbon lately? That’s because the month of September is dedicated to Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly women’s cancers and known as the silent killer. It is typically found in women in their fifties and sixties. Ovarian cancer symptoms are very subtle and hard to diagnose. Currently there is no standard testing.

“Ovarian cancer fortunately is relatively uncommon, so it’s hard to get a test that works well for an uncommon disease when you’re looking at the whole population,” Dr. Eric Jentoft said. “So Ovarian cancer historically has been termed the silent killer and I would say that it’s more true than untrue when you’re looking at the general population. There are some symptoms that can present early, although typically present late. When you do have early symptoms, they may not be symptoms that as a woman you would be thinking of. They tend not to be gynecologic they tend to be more abdominal.”

Symptoms such as abdominal pain and getting full early are some of the subtle signs. Having symptoms such as these does not mean you have ovarian cancer. According to doctors they are relatively common, but experiencing them daily for three to four weeks you should see your primary care provider.

Dr. Jentoft stressed that women should see an OBGYN every one to two years.