Good Question: Why is ovarian cancer such a silent killer in women?

This month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women and it will kill thousands this year.

Good Question: Why is ovarian cancer such a silent killer in women?

This year nearly 22,000 women in the US will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, early detection can be a lifesaver.

"The reason early detection is so important its because if we can detect ovarian cancer when its confined to the ovary itself which is early stage ovarian cancer we can cure women in 90% of cases," said Jack van Nagell, M.D.

Dr. Jack van Nagell is a women's cancer specialist at the University of Kentucky, he says many times women dismiss what should be red flags for ovarian cancer.

"There are symptoms that associated with ovarian cancer they are also associated with other things so women tend to place less emphasis on them that maybe they should," said van Nagell.

Symptoms can include:
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Frequent urination
Feeling full when eating

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are all signs that could easily be dismissed.

Right now there is no one screening test that pinpoints ovarian cancer, but research going on at the University of Kentucky is helping lead the fight in finding a cure.

"I think we are developing a number of bio marker test, blood test for that can help identify patients that have benign ovarian tumors from tumors that have a risk of malignancy," said van Nagell.

The University of Kentucky does offer a free ovarian cancer screening program, for more information go to or call 1-800-766-8279.


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