Teal We Find A Cure
OVARIAN CANCER STATISTICS
- A woman has a 1 in 72 chance of developing ovarian cancer during her lifetime.
- Over 22,530 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, which means 61 are diagnosed each day.
- About 14,000 of them will die this year, which means about 38 die each day.
- The 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 45%.
- Only 25% of women with ovarian cancer will be diagnosed when the cancer is at an early stage. Of those, nearly 92% will live more than 5 years.
- In contrast, of those women diagnosed with stage IV invasive, epithelial ovarian cancer, only 17% will still be alive in 5 years.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT OVARIAN CANCER?
Know the risk factors for ovarian cancer
- Age - risk for ovarian cancer increases with age
- Obesity - women with a BMI of 30 or greater
- Pregnancy history - women who have never had a full term pregnancy or have their first full term pregnancy over the age of 35
- Hormones - androgens, post-menopausal estrogen replacement therapy for more than 5 years
- Family history - of ovarian cancer and/or hereditary genetic predisposition
- Approximately 18% of ovarian cancer is attributed to mutations in genes inherited from a parent. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for a great proportion; however, alterations in many other genes increase the risk for ovarian cancer (BRIP1, RAD51C, RAD51D, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, STK11, PTEN, TP53, and others).
- If you have a family history of ovarian and/or breast cancers (or other cancers diagnosed before the age of 50) contact a genetic counselor to discuss genetic testing.
- Talcum powder - applied to the genital area may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Smoking - is associated with a specific type of ovarian cancer called mucinous.
HOW CAN WE LOWER OUR RISK OF DEVELOPING OVARIAN CANCER?
- Don’t smoke
- Oral contraceptive use
- Depo-Provera use
- Keep BMI below 30
- Eat a lower-fat diet
- Full term pregnancy before the age of 26
- Know if you have a genetic predisposition
WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?
- Get annual pelvic exams
- See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Feel full quickly when eating
- Urinary urgency and/or frequency
- Fatigue (ongoing)
- Stomach upset (ongoing)
- Pain during sex
- Constipation or change in normal bowel movements
- Menstrual changes and/or post-menopausal bleeding
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
- Screening tests for ovarian cancer- overall, there hasn’t been much success
- CA-125 blood test
- In women who already have ovarian cancer, CA-125 levels can be high; however, high CA-125 levels can occur with other conditions, too.
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- It can be used to find a mass on the ovaries, but it can’t tell if it’s cancer or not.
FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE A GENETIC PREDISPOSITION TO DEVELOP OVARIAN CANCER AND/OR FAMILY HISTORY OF OVARIAN CANCER
- Use of oral contraceptives
- CA-125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound
- Prophylactic removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes after childbearing is complete or by age 35-40 (this also cuts breast cancer risk in half)
- Targeted therapy like PARP inhibitors (drug) for treatment
- In addition, women who have a genetic predisposition:
- May be at increased risk for other types of cancer (more targeted screening and/or surgical options)
- Family members have a 50% chance of inheriting the same genetic predisposition
- Removing the fallopian tubes but leaving ovaries in until later
- Better ways to screen for ovarian cancer
- Utility of aspirin and acetaminophen for risk reduction
- Treatment- targeted therapy (drugs)
- Immunotherapy (tumor vaccines)
- Liquid biopsies
- WE NEED MORE!! THAT’S WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!
Justine Snyder, MS, CGC
Licensed Genetic Counselor
Hereditary Cancer Program
St Elizabeth Healthcare