How to Detect Ovarian Cancer

My mother-in-law recently introduced me to the Dr. Oz show. In case you are not familiar with Dr. Oz, his name is Mehmet Oz and he is a, “Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. He performs 250 heart operations annually.” After being featured on the Oprah Winfrey show for over five seasons he now has his own television show and radio broadcast on Sirius XM Radio’s “Oprah Radio.”

His television show covers a wide range of health topics and I learn something new from every episode. You can visit his website to look up broadcasting times and channels near you.

During a recent episode he discussed ovarian cancer. Did you know that ovarian cancer is the most deadliest form of reproductive cancer for women? I was shocked when I heard this news from the Dr. Oz show. Below I will share with you an article on this form of cancer taken from the Dr. Oz Show website.

How to Detect Ovarian Cancer
When ovarian cancer is discovered early, it has a 90% cure rate, and yet 16,000 women die from it every year, making it the deadliest reproductive system cancer for women. Why? Because 80% of women discover it too late.

Until now, doctors believed that ovarian cancer had no symptoms, but researchers have finally unlocked the secrets of early detection. Their discovery could save your life or that of someone you love.

Hiding from Detection

For organs that perform such a vital function as giving life, the ovaries are far from where doctors can easily see or feel them. So, when cells within them grow malignant — pushing into nearby organs such as the fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel, or liver — they can cause a lot of damage before they are discovered.

For years doctors have been taught that there are no early signs of ovarian cancer, so they have not been looking for it. Now, researchers have discovered that most women with ovarian cancer have some combination of 6 symptoms critical to early detection. However, these symptoms are so common that they are often missed by women and misdiagnosed by doctors. Learn this list, listen to your body, and be your own advocate when you go to the doctor.

Six Warning Signs

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When cancer grows in the ovaries, they secrete hormones and other substances that increase gas in the abdominal cavity and slow the bowels down, leading to constipation and a feeling of pressure and fullness. Here are the 6 critical symptoms:

* Bloating
* Increased abdominal size
* Abdominal pain
* Pelvic pain
* Difficulty eating
* Feeling full quickly

Don’t Panic

These symptoms are common and can be associated with many different conditions, which means ovarian cancer can be difficult to catch, but it also means many people who have one or more of these symptoms do not have ovarian cancer. If they are new for you, persist for more than a few weeks, and you experience them 50% of that time, you should talk to your doctor to get screened.

What the Doctor Will Do

The first step is a general exam, which includes pelvic and rectovaginal exams during which the doctor inserts a finger into the vagina and one into the rectum to feel the ovaries where they sit behind the uterus. If the exam is normal, experts say it’s OK to wait for a few weeks to see what happens. If the symptoms continue, the next step is an ultrasound, which can be transvaginal (through the vagina) or trans-abdominal (over your stomach). Sometimes doctors will also perform a simple blood test to look for a protein in the blood that is higher in many women who have ovarian cancer. However, other conditions can cause the level to rise and some women with ovarian cancer will not have elevated levels, so the test is not definitive.

Early Detection Will Save Lives

There is no reason ovarian cancer has to claim the number of lives it does every year. It’s largely curable if caught in time. So, share this information with the women in your life, pay attention to your body, and see a doctor if you have concerns.

Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.

Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at and her articles can also be found on She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC,  and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge. Follow her on Google+.

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