Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

This post was written in collaboration with

Did you know that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? Here are a few facts about Ovarian Cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Did You Know?

I was really surprised by the numbers affected by ovarian cancer. Not only does it rank 5th in cancer deaths in women, but women have a 1 in 75 chance of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

Because of where it is in the body, it's a more difficult cancer to diagnose, which is why only 15% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed in stage 1.

Are You At Risk?

Some of the factors that increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, like age or genetics, are beyond our control.

Age: The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you get older. About half the women who are diagnosed are over 63.

Genetics: Genetic mutations such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 have been linked to malignant ovarian tumors as well as the hereditary condition known Lynch syndrome. Women with an Eastern European or Ashkenazi Jewish background tend to have a higher incidence of BRCA gene mutations which increases their risk of ovarian cancer.

Family History: If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumors, you're at a higher risk of developing one as well.

Other Diseases: Women who have been diagnosed with other types of cancer are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer as well as women who have suffered with endometriosis.

There are lifestyle environmental factors that can increase your risk as well.

Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, poor diet, and obesity have all been linked to diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Also, studies have shown that using talc powder can increase your risk as well.

Environment: Studies have also shown that pesticides and herbicides can also increase risk.

Sept is #OvarianCancerAwarenessMonth. Know your risks and what you can do to lower them. via @EnjoytheCourse

What Can You Do?

There is so guaranteed way to prevent ovarian cancer, but there are a few things you can do today to help reduce your risk.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: How to Reduce Your Risk

Healthy Lifestyle: It shouldn't surprise you that this is my first tip. This is a running / healthy living blog, after all. Eating well, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can all help reduce the risk. Avoiding cigarette smoke (including second-hand) and other tobacco products may also reduce the risk of developing this disease.

Get Screened: If you do have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer due to some of the above factors, be sure to get yourself screened. Screenings could help with an early diagnosis and increase your chance of long-term survival.

Avoid Using Talcum Powder: Talc is among a number of materials being studied for their link to ovarian cancer. While the link isn't definitive, it is still recommended to avoid it's use - especially in the genital area. Instead try using products that use cornstarch, arrowroot, or rice powder rather than talc. Some condom companies use talc to prevent sticking when unrolling a condom. Instead opt for lubricated or vegan condom options.

Birth Control Pills: Taking birth control pills consistently for 5+ years has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting ovarian cancer by 50%. Of course, there are other risks in taking birth control, so be sure to discuss this preventative measure with your doctor to see if it is an option for you.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Women who get pregnant before they turn 30 are at a lower risk of developing this disease as well as women who breastfeed for a year or more. Breastfeeding lowers the risk by decreasing estrogen levels and reducing the numbers of times a woman ovulates in her lifetime.

I personally have not been affected by this disease, but knowledge is power. Before writing this post, I had no idea the prevalence of ovarian cancer nor the risk factors.

If you are interested in donating to further research of this disease, Hope for Heather is dedicated to funding research and improving survival through patient education and early detection.

Twitter → @EnjoytheCourse
Instagram → enjoyingthecourse
Facebook → EnjoyingtheCourse
Google+ → Enjoying the Course
Pinterest → clarindad

No comments:

Post a Comment