Three-hundred Iowa women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year –and a statewide campaign has been launched to encourage more women to beaware of the disease. Joan Blum (bloom) of the Mercy Cancer Center in DesMoines says ovarian cancer is sometimes called the “silent killer” becauseits symptoms are difficult to recognize. The symptoms of ovarian cancer –stomach pain, bloating, and fatigue — are common to women, so most casesare diagnosed long after the cancer has taken hold of the ovary. Surgery and chemotherapy are used to treat the cancer that targets women intheir later years, usually after menopause.The five-year survial rate for ovarian cancer is less than 25 percent if itisn’t diagnosed and treated early. To date there is no good screeningmethod, so Blum recommends regular pelvic exams. For more informationcontact the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at 1-888-OVARIAN. September isNational Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
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