House Call: Ovarian Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and Prevention

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Ovarian Cancer is an insidious form of cancer that most often attacks the cells on the outside of the ovaries.

Although it is one of the less common forms of gynecological cancers, due to its insidious nature, Ovarian Cancer has lower survival rates because diagnosis usually occurs in the later stages.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are more vague than those of other cancers and can often be confused with common illnesses.  Symptoms include increased abdominal growth, bloating or abdominal distension, weight gain and felling full quickly.

Because Ovarian Cancer is less prevalent than other types of cancer, screening methods and tests are not as advanced as screenings for more common forms of gynecological cancers such as breast and cervical.

Getting an annual pelvic exam is the best way to detect irregularities or a mass in the ovaries. Increasing age is the number one risk factor of developing Ovarian Cancer, as well as a family history of the disease.  Therefore it is extremely important for women to continue getting regular pelvic exams, even after menopause.

Because Ovarian Cancer often presents in a late stage, the treatment plan almost always includes surgery and chemotherapy.  Cone Health’s partnership with board certified gynecological oncologists at UNC Chapel Hill allows women diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and other gynecological cancers to receive exceptional care and cancer treatment right here in the community—close to work, home and their support networks.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Suzanne Miller is a gynecology specialist and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff.

She is a 2000 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.