Ovarian Cancer: Quick Facts

Ovarian Cancer: Quick Facts

Here are 12 research facts that you may not have been told about ovarian cancer; some to do with causes such as pathogens in the ovaries or fallopian tubes, others on BRCA1 and 2 (you're not doomed), or HRT, and others on tips to increase your survival.

Ovarian cancer the stats, the tips and the alternative treatments

1. Ovarian Cancer is called 'the silent killer' because only 20% of these cancers are detected early. When they are found early, 94% of patients live 5 years. The other 80% who are detected late have poor survival figures:  

In the USA in 2018 22,500 women were diagnosed with it; 14,05 0 died.

In the UK, approximately 7,500 are diagnosed and more than 4,000 will die. It develops mostly in women over 55, and half of all cases occur in women of 65 plus, although one in ten patients will be under 45.

2. More accurately it should be called the whispering disease, because those who listen to their bodies and do something about the problem do beat the survival statistics: Symptoms are: 

  • Pelvic or abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Cramps
  • Bloating or swelling
  • Loss of weight or appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Backache
  • Urinary problems
  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding

3. Pathogens ('bad' bacteria) have been discovered in the Fallopian tubes, once considered pristinely clean for eggs to pass down them. And different pathogens have been found in the ovaries themselves (sometimes linked to ovarian cysts). Indeed, this problem with infection may even be a cause of Ovarian Cancer. Herbs like Artemisin (sweet wormwood0 may be helpful.

Go to: Pathogens found in upper reproductive tract

4. The National Cancer Institute is now presenting research that shows 70% of 'Ovarian Cancers' might not start in the ovaries but involve long-term lesions in the Fallopian Tubes. This Fallopian tube cancer is now seen as serous ovarian cancer and is often the one that is found late.

5. Women who have no children are more likely to develop Ovarian Cancer, and women who start a family after 30 also have a slightly greater risk. Menstruation patterns are also implicated - more monthly periods may increase the risk; women who began their periods before the age of 12, who had a late menopause and did not breastfeed may also have a higher risk.

Dr David Guthrie, consultant clinical oncologist at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, stresses that childbearing patterns and ovarian cancer are markedly linked: this cancer is rare in the now scant number of women who have had four or more pregnancies. The unfashionable message seems to be that falling birth rates are bad for ovarian health.

6. Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop Ovarian Cancer.

7. Taking HRT increases  your risk of Ovarian Cancer by 58% according to the Women's Health Initiative research.

8. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are relatively common in Ovarian Cancer and this should be one of the first tests the oncologist gives you.  71% of women who inherit BRCA1, and 69% of women who inherit BRCA2 will develop Ovarian Cancer by the time they are 80. However, once you have ovarian cancer, according to research, there is statistically no reduction in your survival rate when compared to non-carriers. 

Go to: Ovarian Cancer - symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives 

9. There has been a series of very public court cases in the USA over the links between Talcum powder and Ovarian Cancer. Johnson & Johnson have found themselves having to pay substantial sums of money to victims' families.

10. Professor Sood of MD Anderson happened to notice that women with Ovarian Cancer who were coincidentally taking the Beta-blocker Propranolol, happened to live 4 years longer than those who weren't.

Go to: Propranolol can give extra years to people with cancer

11. There is research that shows that Hemp oil (CBD) may slow down ovarian cancer cell spread.  

12. If the cancer spreads throughout the peritoneum, there is a treatment called HIPEC you should check out. It gives several years more survival.

Go to: HIPEC for Ovarian and Peritoneal Cancer

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