Health Watch — Breast Cancer: Ovarian Cancer Risk

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about breast cancer, in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women who are at greater risk for breast cancer may also have an increased risk for ovarian cancer, which is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect because its symptoms are seen with many common problems, but Dr. John Schorge, a gynecologic oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says symptoms are usually present before diagnosis. Symptoms include pelvic or abdominal pain, bloating, trouble eating and urinary symptoms. These symptoms often occur for other reasons, but if they persist daily for more than a few weeks, you should consult a doctor. Ovarian cancer is more treatable when detected early, so pay attention to symptoms and know that it’s better to rule cancer out than to miss the diagnosis.

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October 2007

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