January is cervical screening awareness week

Cervical Screening Awareness Week is an annual event which will run from 15th to 21st June 2020. Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in women under 35 with two women in the UK per day dying from the disease. Regular cervical screening appointments can prevent up to 75% of instances of cervical cancer, saving 5000 lives per year. Despite this, many women are reluctant to have this test done with a quarter of women not responding to their screening invitation. Cervical Screening Awareness Week is organised by the charity Jo’s trust, a charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer or abnormalities.Advertisements

Cervical Screening Awareness week aims to encourage all women to have regular cervical screening as well as to provide information and reassurance around any fears or embarrassment that women may have concerning taking the test.

During the week there will be information stands at GP surgeries, workplaces and sports centres, fundraising events and a social media campaign where women are urged to tell their stories relating to cervical cancer and cervical screening.

More information about Cervical Screening Awareness Week and information about cervical cancer and cervical screening itself can be found on the Jo’s Trust website http://www.jostrust.org.uk or from your local GP’s office.


January is cervical screening awareness week

You still think you’re too young to have ovarian cancer? Think again!

Amy’s story

“He said: “It’s cancer.” I don’t remember the rest of the meeting. I couldn’t speak. I felt numb.”

Age: 19

Cancer type: ovarian cancer

Like many young people, my cancer diagnosis didn’t come very quickly. It wasn’t easy convincing anyone I wasn’t well.

It all started with an uncomfortable pain in my side. It wouldn’t go away so I visited my GP, and after some pestering, I was sent for a scan to look for possible endometriosis. The scan actually showed a 7cm cyst in my left ovary. The doctor told me it would have to be removed through key-hole surgery, but I would be on a waiting list as it wasn’t urgent.

I wasn’t happy with this at all. For the eight months I waited for that operation I was bothering every doctor I could find, telling them that I just felt wrong. Nobody would listen, but I knew something strange was happening because I was constantly tired. I quit everything I loved, I’m a singer and musical theatre performer but I stopped performing completely.

I remembered the cancer awareness session we’d had in school a few years ago from Teenage Cancer Trust really vividly, and I remembered them telling us to be persistent if we felt something wasn’t right. I listened to this, and I might not be here today without that advice.

When the time came to remove the cyst, I told the surgeon I had concerns, and for the first time someone listened to me. In hindsight, this conversation may have saved my life. The surgeon agreed to have an extra look about while he was in there. When I woke up from my operation the surgeon had removed the cyst but had also found something else. He thought it was scar tissue and sent it for testing. He told me it was most likely an infection.

A few weeks later he called my parents on a Friday. I wasn’t in but he told them to come with me for an urgent scan on Monday. I said to my parents “I think I have cancer” but they thought I was being dramatic. I just knew it. On the Monday, I had the scan and met with the surgeon. He said he had the results from the tissue he’d sent away.

He said: “Its cancer.” I don’t remember the rest of the meeting. I couldn’t speak. I felt numb. How could this be happening to me? I was 19 and scared. I felt alone.

Read more: https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/get-help/young-peoples-stories/amy-glasgow

You still think you’re too young to have ovarian cancer? Think again!

IVF linked to increased ovarian cancer risk? What are your thoughts?

IVF women third more likely to develop ovarian cancer

British health experts said the new findings were serious enough to consider screening IVF patients at regular intervals

Women who undergo IVF are a third more likely to develop ovarian cancer, the biggest ever study of fertility treatment in the world has discovered.

“Most analyses of the dataset suggest that this increased risk was principally because of the nature of women needing these treatments in the first place not due to the hormone drug treatments themselves”
Professor Alastair Sutcliffe, Institute of Child Health at UCL

Scientists at University College London said underlying health problems in infertile women may be driving the increased risk, but warned that the research ‘leaves open the possibility’ that the procedure itself might be to blame.

Previous studies have suggested that ovarian stimulation methods used to harvest eggs could fuel cancer, but most specialists dispute the dangers and a 2013 Cochrane review found no strong evidence of a link.

However British health experts said the new findings were serious enough to consider screening IVF patients at regular intervals and called for infertile women to be informed that their risk of ovarian cancer was higher than that of women who conceive naturally.

In a groundbreaking study, researchers looked at every IVF procedure recorded by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) which took place in Britain between 1991 and 2010, involving more than 250,000 women.

Presenting the research at a fertility conference in the US, Professor Alastair Sutcliffe from the Institute of Child Health at UCL, said the findings were ‘mixed news’ for patients.

“Compared to other women in the UK of the same age range and time frame we found the rates of breast and uterine cancer were no different to UK women as a whole. However there was an increased risk of ovarian cancer,” he said.

“Most analyses of the dataset suggest that this increased risk was principally because of the nature of women needing these treatments in the first place not due to the hormone drug treatments themselves.”

However the findings showed the risk was highest in the first three years after receiving treatment and in younger women.

The authors conclude in their paper: “Certain results argue against an association with assisted reproductive technology itself, but others leave open the possibility that it might affect risk.”

Prof Sutcliffe said there was a ‘small possibility’ that IVF could raise the risk of cancer.

Fertility problems are estimated to affect one in seven heterosexual couples in Britain. Around 50,000 women in the UK undergo 65,000 rounds of IVF or other assisted fertility methods each year.

The risk is still small however. Just 15 in every 10,000 women developed ovarian cancer over the study period, compared with around 11 in 10,000 of the general population.

Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director of Create Fertility, which has five clinics in the UK, said that the findings were concerning.

“Not enough has been done to safeguard the health and safety of women undergoing IVF in the UK,” she said.

“IVF should be used only when it is really needed. What we do not want is our interventions to put women’s health at risk. We should be moving towards milder stimulation and fewer drugs in IVF.’

And she said that other doctors should not disregard the findings.

“The causative factors at the moment are not clear – but until they are we should support cancer screening on the NHS.”

“I think it is important that people understand that infertility is not just a cosmetic disease, it is associated with other diseases including ovarian cancer”
Richard Paulson, ASRM vice president

Dr Adam Balen Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the University of Leeds, and Chair of The British Fertility Society said the NHS should consider whether women undergoing IVF should be routinely screened for cancer.

“This study, from a huge database, suggests that women who have IVF with certain conditions, such as endometriosis, may be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

“The question remains as to whether women who have received IVF treatment should be offered surveillance/screening and, if so, how often and by what means. I think we need to call for a policy on this.”

During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg is then returned to the woman’s womb to grow and develop. However to harvest the eggs the woman is given medication to encourage the body to produce more eggs than usual and those are then collected by inserting a needle into the ovaries.

Women who do not ovulate never get ovarian cancer, and scientists believe that the risk increases with every egg produced. When an ovary produces an egg (ovulation), the surface layer of the ovary bursts to release the egg and must be repaired. The more eggs the ovaries produce the more cells need to divide and the higher the chance that damage will occur that could lead to cancer.

ASRM vice president Richard Paulson said: “This study confirms long thought association between infertility and ovarian cancer.

“I think it is important that people understand that infertility is not just a cosmetic disease, it is associated with other diseases including ovarian cancer.”

However charities said that women should not be overly alarmed by the findings.

Dr Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: “This is important research, but doesn’t prove fertility treatment increases ovarian cancer risk. As the researchers point out, the risk could be linked to low fertility and related factors.

“The causes of ovarian cancer are complex and we’re funding this type of research to give us a better understanding of the most important risk factors, so that we can better advise women thinking about fertility treatment.”

The research was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual conference in Baltimore.

Read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11941386/IVF-women-third-more-likely-to-develop-ovarian-cancer.html

IVF linked to increased ovarian cancer risk? What are your thoughts?

Why No One Is Talking About Ovarian Cancer?

Why No One Is Talking About Ovarian Cancer?
Even during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September, it felt like women were keeping quiet about the disease. Why is it so hush-hush?

Every October, we start seeing pink. Pink ribbons on t-shirts. Pink armbands on football players. Pink-themed walks, 5Ks, and marathons—all efforts aimed to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was started in 1985 to encourage women to get their yearly mammograms. Since then, the month has blown up into an anticipated, annual phenomenon.

But lost in that shuffle is September’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, represented by the color teal. Although the disease is rare compared to breast cancer, the statistics are far more grim. And few people are talking about them.

According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 21,290 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 2015—yet 14,180 women will also die. The five-year survival rate for the disease is just 45.6 percent, compared to breast cancer’s roughly 90 percent. Often, since early-stage symptoms of the cancer are very mild, we don’t catch ovarian cancer until it’s too late. In 61 percent of cases diagnosed, the cancer has metastasized, which reduces five-year survival rates to just 27.4 percent. (Learn the facts! 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Ovarian Cancer.)

Why Ovarian Cancer Is Less Talked About
If ovarian cancer is the deadlist gynecologic cancer, why aren’t we seeing more of that blue-green spattered everywhere? There are several reasons, according to Nimesh Nagarsheth, M.D., an associate professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who helps raise funds and awareness for gynecologic cancers with a rock band of six gynecologic oncologists called N.E.D.

1. Ovarian cancer isn’t as prevalent as breast cancer. There hasn’t been a real high-profile public figure diagnosed with ovarian cancer in some time (not since SNL alum Gilda Radner in the 1980s), who might carry the torch for the disease. With new cases of breast cancer hitting the news all the time—from Rita Wilson to Elizabeth Edwards, Robin Roberts to Giuliana Rancic—it’s on the public’s mind more often.

2. Docs are more focused on work than awareness. While we’re all thankful to be talking openly about breast cancer, and the success of October’s pink ribbon is amazing and unparalleled, we’re still trying to hit our stride with ovarian awareness, says Nargarsheth. “In terms of gynecologic cancers, as a field, we’ve probably been a little more focused on the work as opposed to the awareness aspect.” For instance, doctors have been working on identifying the key emerging symptoms of ovarian cancer—like bloating, early satiety while eating, urinary frequency or urgency, pelvic or abdominal pain, so women can get diagnosed earlier and survive the disease. (You can lend your support to the disease by participating in these 6 Ways to Help Fight Ovarian Cancer.)

3. Some women mistakenly think they’re covered. “For breast cancer, we have the mammogram and even the self-exam,” says Lindsay Avner, the founder of Bright Pink, an organization aimed at educating women on their breast and ovarian health. “These are external organs that you can check; you can feel lumps. For cervical cancer, we have pap smears given by your ob-gyn—but these don’t screen for ovarian cancer, which many women don’t realize.” (More on what your options for an ovarian cancer screening are later.)

With annual pap smears and all the ads for Gardasil taking over the airwaves, many young women believe they’re protected for all gynecologic cancers, she adds. “The pap smear gets a lot of play, and we’ve sort of fallen prey to the marketing,” says Avner.

4. Some think ovarian cancer is an automatic death sentence (it’s not). “While breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, ovarian cancer is the deadliest,” says Avner. “So we do not have that army of survivors like we do with breast cancer, helping to raise awareness.” But the perception of deadliness is another reason we’re not hearing enough about ovarian cancer. The thing is, if diagnosed in the early stages, survival rates jump to more than 90 percent in stage one, and more than 70 percent for stage two. “We want to get beyond the ‘this is so deadly, this is so sad’ conversation” Avner says. “We really want women to know the symptoms and advocate for themselves.”

Here’s how to do just that:

The Symptoms
Subtle as they are, it’s important to be aware of symptoms, says Nargasheth. “Symptoms that may appear at an early stage can often seem vague and musculoskeletal,” he explains. “This might be bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, getting full quickly while eating, appetite changes, weight loss or gain, and pressure on the bladder. A lot of women complain that they have trouble wearing pants, or that they can’t button their pants.” If you’re experiencing any of these for a week or more and they feel abnormal for your body, trust your gut and get checked. “It’s easy to pass off,” Avner says. “We all feel bloating, we eat too much Chinese food—whatever the case. But if a symptom persists, you have to see your doctor. Say what’s on your mind. Ask, ‘Could this be my ovaries?'”

Can You Protect Yourself?
Research has shown that some factors lower your risk of ovarian cancer, like taking birth control for more than two years, having children, and breastfeeding. “We’re realizing the progesterone component is probably the key to prevention,” Nargarsheth says. Progesterone—a hormone produced in the ovaries that peaks during pregnancy and while on some forms of birth control—helps maintain the health of your uterus, regulates your monthly cycle, and assists in bringing pregnancies to term. And science is starting to show that progesterone may even destroy cancer cells. In addition, reducing ovulation while taking birth control, breastfeeding, or being pregnant may help lower your risk. (And a recent study found that drinking this Tea Could Protect Against Ovarian Cancer.)

Is There Screening?
The best potential screening test available right now is the CA-125, which measures the levels of a protein that may be elevated in around 80 percent of ovarian cancer cases. If you’re high-risk (you can quickly check with Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk tool), you can ask your doctor about getting this test; the younger you get the test, the easier it will be to figure out what your normal levels are. That said, Avner reminds that not every person with ovarian cancer will have an elevated CA-125—including her mother, whose CA-125 results were perfectly normal when she was diagnosed.

“As of now, there is no effective test that we’re advocating for everyone,” Nagarsheth explains. “Sometimes, screening tests can do more harm than good, causing a lot of anxiety over false positives, or even getting false negatives.” Talk to your doc if you have questions.

If you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you also might want to get tested for the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes. The average woman has a 1.3 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime—but that jumps to 39 percent and 11 to 17 percent respectively, if you carry either of the two gene mutations. If you carry these genes, preventative surgeries to remove the Fallopian tubes or ovaries—like Angelina Jolie had earlier this year—are options.

Culled- Shape


Why No One Is Talking About Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian tissue transplants safe and successful, study suggests

Ten out of 32 women who wanted to become pregnant and had transplant succeeded in having a baby, and none had cancer recurrence as a result. Ovarian tissue transplants for women who want to have a baby after cancer treatment appear to be safe and are very successful, according to a team of experts in Denmark, where the procedure is routinely offered.

One in three young women who had a transplant and wanted to become pregnant succeeded in having a baby, analysis of results over the last 10 years has shown. Half of the children were conceived naturally, without the help of IVF.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, is likely to be a game-changer. Many doctors have been wary of ovarian tissue transplants, worried that they might cause a return of the cancer. But among the 41 women in the study, none had a recurrence as a result.

The successes also bring closer the potential option for women to postpone having a family by having ovarian tissue frozen until they are established in a relationship or career, without having to worry about the ticking of the reproductive clock.

  • A pregnant woman
    A pregnant woman. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA

In Denmark, young women with cancer are routinely offered ovarian tissue freezing, but it is not automatic in the UK or elsewhere.

“We are saying for the first time we have a cohort of patients who definitely seem to benefit from this and none of those women have had a cancer as a result of transplanting the tissue,” said one of the study’s authors, Prof Claus Yding Andersen, of the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

“Most surprising to me is that we have patients who have tissue that is active more than 10 years after the transplant.” Some of the women asked for the transplant because they hoped to start a family, but others did it to reverse the early menopause their treatment had triggered. “We have women who say ‘I don’t have a partner at the moment but I don’t want this menopause’,” said Andersen.

“Of course, if you have a cancer as a young woman, all of them say ‘I would like to survive’, but immediately after that most of them say ‘is it possible to preserve my fertility’. It is a huge issue for the patients.”

If the procedure can be shown to be safe and effective, it opens the way to young women having ovarian tissue removed and frozen so that they can postpone having children until the time seems right for them, whether because they have established themselves in a career or found the right partner.

“This is a theoretical adaptation,” said Andersen. “I think it is a bit early to take it that far but in a few years, when we know even better what we are doing, it may become an option.”

Denmark leads the world in ovarian transplantation. “I’m always asked how can it be that a small country with five million people is having the largest experience with this worldwide,” said Andersen. “Here we have a public healthcare system and women are offered the procedure for free. We take out the ovary and cryopreserve it for free and transplant it for free.

“Colleagues in the UK have been sceptical about the safety and longevity of the tissue. They were asking are you sure you are doing no harm? But there are lots of clinics in London starting to offer it now.”

At least 36 babies have been born following the procedure, mostly in Denmark. Germany, Spain, Israel and Belgium have also done significant numbers of transplants. “The results are very encouraging for a continued effort,” Andersen said.

The study is a review of the largest series of ovarian transplants performed worldwide. The experts looked at the outcomes for 41 women, who had 53 transplants of thawed ovarian tissue between them over a period of 10 years. Among the women, 32 wanted to become pregnant and 10 succeeded in having babies – a total of 14 children in all. Some others became pregnant but there was one miscarriage and two abortions, one because a relationship broke down and the other because the woman’s cancer returned, unconnected with the transplant.

The Danish procedure involves removal and cryopreservation of one ovary. During transplantation, part of that ovary is cut into 25 small pieces and inserted into the remaining ovary, which then regains its function. The hormonal cycle resumes and an egg is produced each month. Half the children born were conceived naturally. The tissue can be transplanted elsewhere in the abdominal cavity if necessary, which means IVF will be required.

Grete Brauten-Smith, clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said young women facing cancer treatment must be offered advice on their options from a fertility specialist.

“Chemotherapy treatment can cause infertility – a massive worry for thousands of younger women with breast cancer. So it is very encouraging to see these improving success rates for freezing ovarian tissue,” she said. “This could, in future, offer another valuable option for those who face the devastating prospect of not being able to start or add to their family.

“It is vital women are offered a referral to a fertility expert before starting treatment. Only then will they be able to make an empowered decision about their future fertility.”

Sarah Boseley, Health editor

The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/07/ovarian-tissue-transplants-safe-successful-study

Ovarian tissue transplants safe and successful, study suggests

New study gives baby hope to women with ovarian cancer

Women who have ovarian tissue removed and then transplanted back in them at a later date have a good chance of falling pregnant, a study has found.

Those women who put their fertility “on ice” because of cancer also have little risk of the disease coming back as a result of the transplanted tissue.

The research, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found that transplanted ovarian tissue can last at least 10 years in some cases, giving women several chances to bear children.

The successful treatment could pave the way for fertility to be restored in many more women who, until now, have been unable to have babies due to the harsh effects of some medical treatments.

In the latest analysis, experts reviewed 41 Danish women who had a total of 53 transplants of thawed ovarian tissue, and who were followed for a decade.

The average age when tissue was frozen was 29.8 years. Out of the 41 women, 32 wished to become pregnant. Ten (31 per cent) were successful and had at least one child.

Overall, 14 children were born to the 41 women – eight naturally and six through IVF.

There were also two abortions during the study – one because the woman was separating from her partner and the other because of recurrent breast cancer.

A third woman experienced a miscarriage at 19 weeks.

Dr Annette Jensen, from the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, who worked on the study, said preserving fertility has increasingly become part of the treatment plan for young cancer patients.

Overall, almost 800 women have had ovarian tissue frozen as part of a programme started in Denmark in 2000.

Dr Jensen said: “As far as we know, this is the largest series of ovarian tissue transplantation performed worldwide, and these findings show that grafted ovarian tissue is effective in restoring ovarian function in a safe manner.

The study found that transplanted ovarian tissue can last at least 10 years in some cases, giving women several chances to bear children.

“The fact that cancer survivors are now able to have a child of their own is an immense quality-of-life boost tor them.”

Three of the 41 women in the study had their cancer return. Two of them had breast cancer at the site of their original tumours, while a Ewing’s sarcoma patient suffered a relapse.

The researchers said none of the recurrences appeared to be related to the transplants.

Dr Jensen said: “It’s important that women who have received transplanted ovarian tissue continue to be followed up.

“In particular, we have not performed transplants in patients who have suffered from leukaemia, since the ovarian tissue may harbour malignant cells in this group of patients.”

Dr Jensen said she hoped the study would “enable this procedure to be regarded as an established method in other parts of the world”.


New study gives baby hope to women with ovarian cancer

Should the age of screening for cervical cancer be lowered?

Though evidence suggests that

  1. The incidence of cervical cancer in young women aged less than 25 is rare
  2. The incidence of false positive human papillomavirus (HPV) virus infection detection is high leading to abnormal smears, anxiety and unneccessary treatment with a risk of subsequent premature births.
  3. Screening also has had no impact on the rate of cervical cancer up to the age of 30.

There are still reported cases of cervical cancer in these young women, so is this not still an argument for screening at an earlier age?

What do you think?

The last petition regarding this matter, Sophie’s choice came about after young Miss Sophie Jones was sadly diagnosed with cervical cancer at the very young age of 19 and there were reports that she had requested a smear before this but was turned down because of the The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) policy of not screening under 25s. Sadly Miss Jones died in March 2014 making her one of the youngest victims of the disease.

Sophie Jones died of cervical cancer in March 2014

The petition was archived in March this year after the Department of Health stated that Miss Jones had her symptoms for 1 year and that the late detection of her cancer rather than being due to a screening issue, was a case of misdiagnosis. Apparently, she had complained of severe abdominal pains but it was suggested that it could be crohn’s disease.

The petition and the response can be found via the link below.


Newspaper coverage

International Business Times http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/sophie-jones-did-not-need-smear-test-misunderstandings-about-cervical-screening-1441142

Daily mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2584037/Horrifying-picture-model-19-killed-cervical-cancer.html

Should the age of screening for cervical cancer be lowered?

10 Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer to Know

10 Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer to Know

How would you know if you have ovarian cancer? September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to take stock of your gynecological health.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly cancers for women. Each year, approximately 22,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with this potentially fatal disease, and as many as 14,000 die. Worldwide over 238,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed every year, killing 152,000 women.

Who Is Susceptible?

Ovarian cancer is most likely to be contracted by women in their fifties and sixties, with the median age being 63, says Ovarian Cancer Awareness, a non-profit working to educate the public about this disease.

In addition, women who have a strong family history of ovarian cancer, or who carry the BRCA mutation gene, may also become victims. One in seven ovarian cancers are due to BRCA mutations, reports Ovarian.0rg. Women who have had breast cancer have an increased risk of ovarian cancer, as well. A family history of cancer of the breast, colon and uterus also creates an increased risk of getting ovarian cancer.

In addition, research suggests there is a relationship between the number of menstrual cycles in a woman’s lifetime and her risk of developing ovarian cancer, says OvarianCancer.org. A woman is at an increased risk if she:

  • Started menstruating before the age of 12
  • Has not given birth to any children
  • Had her first child after 30
  • Began menopause after the age of 50
  • Used hormone replacement therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause
  • Has never taken oral contraceptives

Infertility, regardless of whether or not a woman uses fertility drugs, increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have also found a link between obesity and ovarian cancer.

What Are The Signs that You May Have Ovarian Cancer?

The symptoms seem very commonplace. Yet, if they occur more frequently than usual—more than 12 times during the course of one month—and are new for you, they could indicate something very serious is happening.

The 10 most common symptoms include:

* Bloating

* Pelvic or abdominal pain or bleeding

* Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

* Urinary urgency or frequency

* Nausea, indigestion, gas

* Constipation or diarrhea

* Extreme fatigue

* Shortness of breath

* Backaches

* Weight gain

What Should You Do?

*If any of the above symptoms are uncommon for you and persist more than two or three weeks, see your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is key to increasing your chances of survival. Depending on how advanced the disease is, treatment may include surgery and chemotherapy.

*See your healthcare provider annually. If there is a history of ovarian cancer in your family, ask if you should get screened for the BRCA gene.

* If you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, ask your doctor if you should take birth control pills. Taking birth control pills for 5 years has been shown to reduce ovarian cancer risk by 50 percent. However, know that birth control pills have been linked to a slight increase in breast cancer and may have other health risks, warns WebMd, so consider both the pros and cons before you start the medication.

* You can lower your risk of contracting many forms of cancer by eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, not smoking and exercising regularly.

Most importantly, don’t delay in seeking help and treatment. As with all illnesses, but especially cancer, the sooner your disease is diagnosed and treated, the better.

10 Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer to Know


We’ve set up this forum as a means of supporting young women with gynaecological cancers such as cervical, ovarian and fallopian tube cancers. There are a lot of well established support groups giving support and advice and we are in no way trying to replicate or overtake this, but we have realised that there is a need for our young women to get more support; this can never be enough.

Our aim is to share experiences and support one another as we go through these challenging times. Please share your experience with others. We welcome your feedback.