Ovarian cancer is the deadliest women’s cancer.
Unfortunately, this has not changed in 30 years. Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease.
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It’s held each year in Australia to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, to share the stories of real women affected by the disease, to highlight the risk factors for ovarian cancer and educate Australians on ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment.
What are some of the risks of ovarian cancer?
We don’t know the causes of most ovarian cancer. Research into the causes of ovarian cancer is continuing in Australia and overseas.
We do know that there are some factors that may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and that there are some protective factors that may reduce a woman’s risk.
It’s important to know that many women who develop ovarian cancer do not have any known risk factors — while many women who do have risk factors never develop ovarian cancer.
Here are some of the risk factors:
- Age: ovarian cancer is most common in women over 50 and in women who have stopped menstruating (have been through menopause), and the risk increases with age. However, ovarian cancer can affect women of all ages.
- Genetics and family history: if a woman has two or more relatives from the same side of her family affected by ovarian, or ovarian and breast cancer her risk of developing ovarian cancer may be increased. Genetics and family history are responsible for at least 15% of ovarian cancers.
- Child-bearing history: women who have not had children, are unable to have children, have never used oral contraceptives or have had children over the age of 30, may be slightly more at risk. This is due to ovaries not having a ‘rest’ from the break and repair of the surface of the ovary when women ovulate each month.
- Endometriosis: this condition is when the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) is also found outside of the uterus.
- Lifestyle factors: such as smoking tobacco, being overweight or eating a high-fat diet.
- Hormonal factors: including early puberty (menstruating before 12) or late menopause (onset after 50).
Take action during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
In 2018, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is about making a stand – it’s time for action. You can help the cause and take action by doing the following:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer
- Talk to your family and friends to ensure they know about ovarian cancer
- Ask us about your ovarian cancer risk
- Make a donation, buy a $3 teal ribbon or even host an Afternoon Teal event and raise funds to save lives and support women.
Make a booking today
To see if you’re at risk of ovarian cancer, or just for a general check-up, please make a booking today. You can book online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.
Source: Ovarian Cancer Australia
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.