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Ovarian Cancer: Early Detection is Key

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September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  In Massachusetts, ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cancer diagnosis for women with an incidence rate slightly above the national average. One fact stands out above the rest: early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

The Massachusetts Ovarian Cancer Awareness Coalition, an organization of experts from Dana-Farber-Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, the M. Patricia Cronin Foundation to Fight Ovarian Cancer, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, has embarked on a public education campaign to increase awareness about the risk factors and early warning signs of ovarian cancer.

According to the Coalition, approximately 15,500 women will die in the United States from ovarian cancer this year.  And approximately 22,280 new cases will be diagnosed.  Early detection is vital: if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%.  More information about risk factors, research and treatment is available at: www.ovariancancerawareness.org/.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also provide extensive information about ovarian cancer and its early warning signs and symptoms that can include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urinary urgency or frequency.  You can learn more at: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/

I encourage you to join me in getting the facts about ovarian cancer, knowing the signs, talking with your doctor, and sharing this information with your families and friends.

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