One of the most remarkable advances in medicine taking place right now is in the area of genetic medicine. As scientists and researchers continue to unlock the secrets of the human genome, all sorts of wonderful new tests and treatments will become available. Nowhere will this be more evident than in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. 50 years ago then President Nixon declared a war on cancer, but only now are we developing the knowledge and tools to really wage this w...ar at the level it has to be fought at. That's because cancer is, when you really get down to it, a genetic disease. Cancer resuts from changes in our own cell's DNA which causes them to function or behave inappropriately. In gynecology, we have never had an effective screening test for ovarian cancer. And, if you read our post from earlier in the week, the symptoms of ovarian cancer (if any) are frequently vague and nonspecific. Moreover, these symptoms typically don't show up until the cancer has started to spread throughout the abdomen. That's a big reason why the long-term survival from ovarian cancer is so low compared to many other types of cancer. But this may all change in the near future. Researchers think they have found a way to detect pieces of DNA (genetic material) in the bloodstream that would only be present if the person had ovarian cancer. Even more exciting, they think they can start to find this diseased DNA early after the cancer develops, meaning that these cancers could hopefully be caught much earlier, ideally before they have even spread beyond the ovary. So, perhaps one day in the not too distant future, part of a woman's annual exam will be a blood test to screen for ovarian cancer. And, if they can do this with ovarian cancer, it's not unrealistic to think they can do it for other types of cancer. How exciting would that be to have a blood test to screen for all sorts of cancers while they are still in their earliest stages?!
What are the signs of Ovarian Cancer? For many years, ovarian cancer was known as the "silent" disease. If you know the symptoms, your doctor will have a better chance of finding it early. Research has found that there are four main symptoms of ovarian cancer. You might experience them even in early stages of the disease. They are: bloating, pain in the pelvis or belly, trouble eating or quickly feeling full, and always feeling like you need to urinate. Many things othe...r than ovarian cancer can cause these symptoms. You need to look at whether these symptoms are unusual for you, and whether they are happening more often or seem worse. Other symptoms to look for are swelling in the belly, losing weight even though you aren't trying to, pain during sex, changes in your period, constipation, and upset stomach or heartburn. Because the symptoms linked to ovarian cancer are common and somewhat vague, its hard to know when to call your physician. You should get checked if the symptoms are new to you, happen more than 12 times in a month, don't go away when you make normal changes such as diet, exercise or the use of a laxative. Keep in mind: Even though these symptoms can be signs of ovarian cancer, it's more likely they are caused by something else. That is why it is always important to tell your physician if ovarian cancer or breast cancer runs in your family. As a patient you are your own best advocate. If you have any concerns about your health always call your physicians office we are here to help you.
We were so excited to meet Charlie & Jaxon yesterday! What a couple of miracle babies! Thank you Caelyn Sadler & April Sadler for letting us be a part of your adventure!!!!!