3 important questions about ovarian cancer

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A study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that a simple 3-question paper-and-pencil survey can effectively identify women who are having symptoms that may indicate ovarian cancer. The survey takes less than 2 minutes to complete in a doctor’s office.


The study represents the first evaluation of an ovarian cancer symptom-screening tool in a primary care setting among normal-risk women as part of their routine medical-history check-up. The results are published in the Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Early detection of ovarian cancer is key to survival. Cure rates for those diagnosed when the disease is confined to the ovary are as high as 90%. But more than 70% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, when the survival rate is lower.


The survey’s 3 questions ask if a woman currently has one or more of the following:

1.  Abdominal and/or pelvic pain

2.  Feeling full quickly and/or unable to eat normally

3.  Abdominal bloating and/or increased abdomen size


The survey also asked about the frequency and duration of these symptoms, how many days a month they occur, and for how long.


Talk with your doctor about any of these symptoms.

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