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Understanding Ovarian Cancer: Know The Facts

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - Ovarian cancer, the eighth most commonly diagnosed and the fifth most common cause of cancer death for women in the United States, is sometimes called a “silent killer.”

There is currently no reliable screening method to detect ovarian cancer and symptoms often go unnoticed. Early stages of ovarian cancer often present symptoms that are more commonly caused by other less serious conditions, such as abdominal pain, swelling or bloating, or pelvic pressure.

As a result of late diagnosis, 75 percent of patients have ovarian cancer that has spread to nearby organs. The five-year survival rate for these ovarian cancer patients is less than 50 percent.

“It is vitally important for women to understand that their risk of developing ovarian cancer and subsequent prognosis is influenced by several factors, including age, environmental and lifestyle factors, early stage of diagnosis, and family history,” said Sue Friedman, founder and Executive Director of Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. “Additionally, the risk of developing ovarian cancer is increased in women with specific inherited genetic abnormalities. One of these risks is associated with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations.”

Consider these facts and work with your doctor to understand your options for ovarian cancer treatment.

Ovarian cancer facts and figures:

• Approximately 22,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014.

• Ovarian cancer is a disease in which cells in the ovaries grow out of control and form tumors, which are abnormal tissues that serve no function.

• All women are at risk for ovarian cancer; however, roughly 90 percent of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are older than 40.

• The greatest number of ovarian cancers occur in women aged 60 years or older.

• High-grade serous cancer is the most common and aggressive form of ovarian cancer.

• Approximately 60-80 percent of ovarian cancer is of the serous subtype and as many as 95 percent of advanced ovarian cancers are of the serous subtype.

• BRCA gene mutations can play a key role in serous ovarian cancer. In the general population, 1.4 percent of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while up to 40 percent of women with BRCA ½ mutations will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.

If you are living with ovarian cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options. And if someone you know has ovarian cancer or may be at risk, please visit www.myOCjourney.com, which is sponsored by AstraZeneca and designed to provide the support you need to live your best life as you fight ovarian cancer.