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Get the Facts on Ovarian Cancer
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Get the Facts on Ovarian Cancer

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Get the facts. Pass it on. Save a life. …

Get the facts. Pass it on. Save a life.

Learn about disease basics with help from Dr. Ursula Matulonis, Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Discover disease risk factors, symptoms and treatment options in this short presentation. Help increase awareness about the disease and share with the women in your life.


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  • 1. The Facts onOvarian CancerPass it on. Save a life.
  • 2. OverviewOvarian cancer is adisease in whichmalignant or cancerouscells are found in theovaries. An ovary is one of two small, almond-shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that store eggs and produce female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
  • 3. Get the Facts All women are at risk of ovarian cancer. Symptoms can be vague, but they exist and increase over time. A Pap test DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer. If the cancer is detected at the earliest stage, women have a 93% survival rate of 5 years.
  • 4. Ovarian Cancer Stats5 th LEADING • 50 percent of cases occur CAUSE in women over 65 years of cancer-related deaths among women in USA • The National Cancer Institute estimates over 22,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year • And over 15,000 will die of the disease
  • 5. SymptomsEarly ovarian cancer may not cause any symptoms.The most common symptoms include: • Pelvic, back or abdominal pain • Frequent or increased urination • Pain or swelling in the abdomen • Indigestion (bloating, gas or constipation)* If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician.
  • 6. Possible SymptomsOther symptoms of ovarian cancer may include: • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly • Fatigue • Pain during sex • Menstrual changes * If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician.
  • 7. Risk FactorsThese factors put women at anincreased risk for ovarian cancer: • Over 55 years old • A family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer on the maternal or paternal side of their family • Obese • Has never been pregnant • Undesired problems with fertility • Has an ovarian cyst after menopause
  • 8. Reducing the RiskThese factors have been linked with a lower likelihood ofdeveloping ovarian cancer: • Natural pregnancy. The risk appears to decrease with every pregnancy; breastfeeding may offer added protection. • Use of Birth Control Pill. Women on the pill for at least five years have about half the risk of women who never took the pill. • Removal of the ovaries. • Tubal ligation (tying tubes). This may offer some protection against ovarian cancer. (Similar for a hysterectomy where the uterus is removed, leaving the ovaries intact.)
  • 9. Detection & TestingEarly detection is difficult • Symptoms generally aren’t apparent until disease is advancedIf reproductive cancers run in the family ask about: • Genetic or blood testing for serum marker cancer antigen (CA)125 • A transvaginal ultrasound • A pelvic/rectal exam • Counseling
  • 10. Typical Treatment OptionsSurgeryRemoval of cancerous tumor and possiblyone ovary and/or nearby tissue. Advancedstages may require removal of both ovaries,along with the uterus (total hysterectomy),reproductive organs, and/or surroundingtissues (radical hysterectomy).Radiation TherapyHigh-energy x-rays or other types ofradiation to kill cancer cells or keep themfrom growing.ChemotherapyDrugs to target and kill cancer in the body.Drugs may be given by mouth, through an IV(vein or muscle), or directly into theabdomen area.
  • 11. Additional TreatmentOptions Clinical trials Treatments that test the safety and effectiveness of new cancer drugs. • Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. • Patients can enter clinical trials before, during, or after starting their cancer treatment. Biotherapy or immunotherapy Treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. Targeted therapies A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.
  • 12. Clinical Trials = Innovation• Many of todays standard cancer treatments are based on earlier clinical trials.• Patients taking part in clinical trials may be among the first to receive a new treatment.• Patients who take part in clinical trials help improve future cancer treatment. For some patients, clinical trials are the best treatment option. See what clinical trials are available at Dana-Farber. For detailed information, consult your treatment team.
  • 13. Need more information?• Watch a webcast on Ovarian Cancer featuring Dr. Ursula Matulonis, Medical Director, Gynecologic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.• Visit the Dana-Farber cancer website to learn more about the disease.Questions or concerns about your health?• Click here to contact a specialist in our Susan F. Smith Center for Womens Cancers Gynecologic Oncology Program.• Schedule an appointment online with Dana-Farber. Or call 877-442-3324 (877-442-DFCI).
  • 14. Pass it on.Save a life.