Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: How to Lower Your Risk


Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly kinds of cancer. Each year, approximately 22,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with approximately 14,000 total deaths each year.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, so it’s the perfect time to become familiar with the signs and symptoms. It most commonly affects women between the ages of 50 and 60, and symptoms can be subtle, or mistaken for other ailments. It’s important to get annual pelvic exams and regular screening tests, particularly if you are at-risk of developing ovarian cancer, because early detection is your best line of defense.

Persistent signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer

  • Backaches
  • Bloating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Urinary urgency

How to lower your risk

Birth control pills

Oral contraceptives taken for more than three years have proven effective in reducing a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer by as much as 50 percent. This decreased risk may last up to 30 years after a woman stops taking birth control pills.

Breastfeeding

New moms who choose to breastfeed their babies have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer and the longer she does it, the lower her risk becomes.

Pregnancy

The more full-term pregnancies women have, the lower their risk becomes.

Hysterectomy

Women who have their uterus removed or fallopian tubes tied after children reduce their risk for ovarian cancer by 70% or more.

Nutrition

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains help reduce the risk of developing many forms of cancer.

Exercise

Low-impact exercise a few times a week will not only help maintain healthy weight, but also help lower the risk of many cancers.

If you are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer, have a family history of ovarian cancer or are over the age of 50, contact Alaska Family Sonograms and schedule an appointment. Call (907) 885-0390, or use our easy online form to schedule your appointment.