Ovarian Cancer Research
Ovarian cancer is a silent killer and is one of the deadliest threats to women's health. The American Cancer Society says that about 20,180 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year alone. Every woman faces a risk of 1:57 risk of getting ovarian cancer in her lifetime.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not perceptible until the cancer becomes widespread and critical, which explains why thousands of women die of this dreaded disease every year. Although ovarian cancer is treatable, in most instances, it is detected late causing complications and death to ovarian cancer patients.
Since to date there is no sure and effective way to diagnose or detect ovarian cancer in its early stage, specialists, research groups and cancer advocacy groups and the government organizations are doing every ovarian cancer research work they can to finally shed light into the gray areas of this deadly disease. Some organizations provide grants for those willing and interested to conduct an ovarian cancer research.
Among the most prominent organizations that promote awareness on ovarian cancer is the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. It was formed in 1997 by seven ovarian cancer advocacy groups who joined forces to strengthen efforts to promote ovarian cancer education.
Ovarian cancer research teams probe into several areas of ovarian cancer including its symptoms (both in the early and the latter stage), stages, risk factors, prevention, risk reduction, and treatment, with the aim of increasing awareness on this cancer. Knowledge on the said areas can be a woman's greatest protection against this cancer.
However apart from the fact that there are many information gaps that still need to be filled, ovarian cancer researches are conducted in response to this cancer's high mortality rate. In the United States, ovarian cancer is the fifth among the gynecologic cancers that place women at the brink of death. Over 50% of all women diagnosed with the disease are about to die within a period of five years, researches show. It is with this fact that ovarian cancer research groups are exerting their best effort to uncover hidden truths about ovarian cancer.
Most ovarian cancer researches reveal that women with ovarian cancer show the following symptoms: persistent and baffling gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, digestive disturbances, bloating or swelling of the abdomen, pain in the abdominal and pelvic area, fatigue, frequent urinating, and abnormal bleeding during the postmenopausal stage.
A recent ovarian cancer research conducted by University of California shows that more than one-third of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have shown the symptoms at least four months before they have been diagnosed with the cancer; hence, there's a good chance that ovarian cancer can be diagnosed earlier.
Researchers explained that the reason why the cancer is detected only when it's already in its advanced state is that doctors do not perform tests that could possibly diagnose the cancer immediately. Doctors would usually have the patients undergo abdominal imaging and some gastrointestinal procedures, which they say re not that effective in diagnosing this disease.
Other ovarian cancer research works are concerned about improving treatment of ovarian cancer and preventing this disease. Many clinical studies are conducted to carefully analyze a drug's potential in preventing high-risk women from developing ovarian cancer and in treating those in the early and latter stages of the cancer.
Was Your Ovarian Cancer Misdiagnosed
Two Percent of All Female Newborns in the United States Are at Risk of Getting Ovarian Cancer
As many as 30,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. In 2006, between 15,000 and 16,000 women are likely to die from this silent killer. Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of death among women, and it is responsible for about five percent of all cancer deaths. Chances are your doctor may have misdiagnosed you. That is often the case. A recent British study found 60 percent of all U.K. general practitioners had misdiagnosed their patients. Three-quarters of British doctors surveyed incorrectly assumed that symptoms only occurred in the late stages of ovarian cancer. Based upon that information, it should be no surprise that Britain has one of the lowest survival rates for ovarian cancer in the Western World - of 6,800 cases diagnosed each year, more than 4,600 die.
A similar discovery was made by University of California researchers, who announced last year, "Four in 10 women with ovarian cancer have symptoms that they tell their doctors about at least four months
Abdominal Chemo Increases Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate
A large clinical test shows that giving chemotherapy directly into the stomach, as well as into a vein, can improve survival of women with advanced ovarian cancer by about sixteen months. The results of the study, which pop up in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, prompted the National Cancer Institute to issue a statement supporting doctors to employ this plan of attack for appropriate patients.
Why is this new treatment reigmine so important? Ovarian cancer is the fourth greatest reason of cancer demises in women, affecting more than 22,000 women and killing more than 16,000 in 2005. Although this disease is super treatable when saw ahead of time, virtually all cases are not noticed until they have dispersed beyond the ovaries. Because so many ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed at a later stage, it is crucial to find ways to better treatments for further progressed disease.
What is already known about ovarian cancer? virtually all women with advanced ovarian cancer get chemotherapy after surgery to get rid of the tumor. That chemotherapy is usually given into a vein and moves through the bloodstream to reach tumor cells in the stomach. Doctors have also experimented with rendering the chemotherapy straight into the abdomen through a catheter, a system called intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. Eight clinical trials of this approach have been done, and most showed a gain to IP chemotherapy. But this technique is not widely wore, according to the study's author, Deborah Armstrong, MD.
"There has been a prejudice against IP therapy in ovarian cancer because it's an old idea, it requires skill and experience for the surgery and for the chemotherapy, and it's additional complicated than IV chemotherapy," said Armstrong, who is a medical oncologist and associate professor at the John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.
How this study was done: Women with stage III ovarian cancer were randomly assigned to get either standard chemotherapy in a vein (210 women), or a combination of chemotherapy in a vein and IP chemotherapy (205 women). The women had already had surgery that successfully removed all or most of the tumor; none had tumors remaining that were larger than 1 cm in diameter. All the women were treated with the same drugs, cisplatin and paclitaxel. Six cycles of chemotherapy were planned for both groups.
What was found? Women who had IP chemo operated long without their cancer coming back and lived longest overall. Women who had traditional chemotherapy in a vein survived about 4 years after treatment, while those who got chemotherapy in the stomach as well as a vein stomach an median of nearly 5
Stimulating The Body S Defenses To Fight Ovarian Cancer
Comediennes such as Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn, Oscar-winning actresses like Loretta Young and Sandy Dennis, singers Laura Nyro and Dinah Shore, actor Pierce Brosnan's wife Cassandra Harris, actress Jessica Tandy, former Connecticut governor Ella Grasso, and Martin Luther King's wife Coretta Scott King all died of ovarian cancer. It's not just celebrities, politicians or movie stars, who are stricken with ovarian cancer. One in every 55 U.S. women is at risk for ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates about 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed. More than 16,000 women will die because the symptoms are often subtle, and her doctor did not recognize the symptoms soon enough. It is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies, and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
Silent and undetected, this cancer often spreads beyond the ovary or ovaries into the abdominal cavity, or by the final stage, into other body organs such as the liver or lungs. Family doctors often fail to properly diagnose "The Silent Killer" until it is too late. Last August, University of California Davis researchers reported 40 percent of women told their doctors about their symptoms for as long as a year before they were correctly diagnosed. A British survey discovered 75 percent of family doctors believed symptoms are only present during the advanced stages of the cancer. By the time women are diagnosed for ovarian cancer, 40 to 50 percent of the patients are in the advanced stage, where there is little hope for survival.
Less than one-half the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will live five years. About 10 to 14 percent live beyond five years after their diagnosis. Their choices have been limited, mainly reserved to variations of chemotherapy drugs or a new way to delivery the drug. The general public is often unaware of the side effects ovarian cancer patients suffer during chemotherapy. In mid March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration criticized the safety profile of Eli Lilly's Gemzar for ovarian cancer patients, saying the 2.8 months increased survival seen in studies of patients taking the drug wasn't enough to offset the treatment's increased toxicity which included anemia, neutropenia (a blood disorder) and thrombocytopenia (reduced platelets in the blood). Presently used first-line treatments for ovarian cancer patients include Cisplatin, with associated side effects such as nerve, kidney and/or ear damage, Carboplatin (side effects: nerve damage in the arms and/or legs, joint pain, and/or thrombocytopenia), Paclitaxel (neurotoxicity), or Melphalan, with side effects which include irreversible bone marrow failure, bone marrow suppression).
A woman stricken with ovarian cancer faces first surgery, then chemotherapy. Recent widespread press heralding a new development in treating ovarian cancer, intra-abdominal or intraperitoneal chemotherapy, is just that: more chemotherapy. The "belly bath," as it has been nicknamed by some television reporters, it has been highly praised because the treatment can extend life by about 16 months more than "regular" chemotherapy. The results were first published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in December 2005. Most news reports failed to mention that only 40 percent of the women treated with the belly bath were able to complete all six cycles. Why? The therapy relies upon infusions of Paclitaxel and Cisplatin (see side effects in the previous paragraph). According to Dr. Robert Edwards, research director of the Magee-Women's Gynecologic Cancer in Pittsburgh, "Many women don't feel well enough to work for the duration of the intra-abdominal (therapy)." Some patients, such as Cindy Pakalnis of Marshall (Pennsylvania) have called the treatments "grueling."
The unsolved problem of chemotherapy is the reduction in the "quality of life." While some life extension has been proven, the patient's life deteriorates. Many patients struggle with balancing the loss in quality of life with the rigors of the therapy. Researchers are actively pursuing new directions that may some day provide new hope for the ovarian cancer patient. A University of Minnesota research study has suggested the use of thalidomide, which would be used in conjunction with chemotherapy, as a prospective means of increasing the likelihood of remission. Minnesota cancer researcher Dr. Levi Downs explained, "It prevents the tumor from making new blood vessels. Without new blood vessels, the tumor can't sufficiently feed new cells, so the cancer can't grow." His randomized trial was small with only 65 patients (only 28 took thalidomide), and more testing will certainly be required.
New Hope for Ovarian Cancer Patients?
One promising technology that has been developed over the past decade is OvaRex
Ovarian Cancer Hysterectomies Becoming Informed About Your Options
A hysterectomy is not often a procedure that needs to be performed urgently, except in the case of cancer. Therefore, a woman considering the procedure should take time to investigate all her options, including other possible treatments. There are now new treatments for conditions that previously would have required a hysterectomy. Women advised to have a hysterectomy for a non-cancerous condition before being offered more conservative treatments may find it beneficial to seek a second opinion.
Deciding whether to have a hysterectomy can be a difficult and emotional process. By becoming informed about the procedure, women can confidently discuss available options, concerns and wishes with their doctor, and make a decision that is right for them.
If you, too, have been questioning the necessity of a surgery for fibroids, prolapse, incontinence or any "cele" repairs, you will be reassured to know you have every right in doing so. The decision to undergo surgery of any kind is often difficult, so it is often useful to explore other alternatives before moving forward. Women, especially around the time of menopause, are too often advised to have major gynecological surgery for minor conditions that can be significantly improved with natural alternatives
Every 10 minutes, 12 hysterectomies are performed in the United States. That is over 600,000 per year, of which only 10% are due to cancer. This surgery most often does not correct the diagnosed problem and instead results in new afflictions. And, argues Dr. Stanley West, author of The Hysterectomy Hoax, nine out of ten hysterectomies are unnecessary.
We need to ask ?How have these surgeries impacted the quality of life for women?" Nowhere in the gynecological literature did the study address the number of women for whom sex had become painful or impossible. Nowhere were there studies to track the number of marriages that failed or were severely compromised as a result of these post-surgical complications or alcoholism or drug addiction resulting from debilitating chronic pain.
Women who have been hysterectomized experience a myriad of negative side effects, including chronic pain and fatigue, depression, and pain during sex. These are only a fraction of the long list of unwanted symptoms reported by women after surgery.
So, if you decide, or have already decided, that surgery is not an option, you are probably asking yourself, "Now what?" I have asked myself this same question. But, I will tell you, there is no quick fix. As women we must understand our bodies to care for them in a positive way.
The more I review this subject the stronger I feel about informing women before they make this important decision. Prevention is the key and hormone balance is the answer.
For the most part those who are encouraged to have their uterus's removed are likely suffering from estrogen excess which is explained well by Dr. John Lee.
Balancing hormones involves working on a few fronts using simple strategies.
1. Evaluate your hormones using a saliva test - determine what is happening in your body - ask your self the question - are you estrogen dominant? Use a saliva test to find the answer.
2. Optimize your diet by lowering your insulin levels. Over 2/3 of North Americans are overweight. This extra weight increases insulin levels causing estrogen dominance to increase. EAT 40/30/30
3. If the saliva test shows the need, use a natural progesterone cream in the process of rebalancing your hormonal system
4. Exercise to reduce excess estrogen and to eliminate toxins
6. Supplement with wisdom using our hormone balancing program of fiber, indoles, efa, multi - fruit & veggi essence, calcium
Ovarian Cancer Tea And An Ounce Of Prevention
Dr Christiane Northrup has some interesting insights into the emotional and energetic issues associated with ovarian cancer. Whilst it is impossible to generalize emotional and energetic responses, she highlights the issue of rage in ovarian cancers. She describes the ovaries as being 'female balls' which means they relate to an active participation in the world in a way that expresses our unique creative potential, as women, on an individual basis.
She says: "...we as women must be open to the uniqueness of our creations and their own energies and impulses, without trying to force them into predetermined forms. Our ability to yield to our creativity, to acknowledge that we cannot control it with our intellects, is the key to understanding ovarian power." (p187, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom)
She relates the issue of rage as deriving from being in an abusive relationship - not necessarily physically abusive, though of course this could be the case. And it may not necessarily be a personal or intimate relationship. It could be with work, societal, or even spiritual. But it embodies a way of relating and dealing with something or someone, where the woman involved feels controlled by the situation and does not believe in her ability to change it, or herself. It is a denial of her innate power and self-sovereignty. A denial of a woman's innate dignity, creativity, spirituality, and complexity.
Interestingly, Dr Northrup notes that ovarian cancer is linked to a diet high in fat and dairy food. Dairy products in Oriental medicine, are associated with the liver meridian. Meridians are energy conduits, and though they have a specific anatomy, they are not equated necessarily with the organs of the same name, as understood in conventional western medicine. The emotion associated with a liver meridian that is out of balance, is rage and anger.
Oriental medicine believes that diseases start in our energetic body first, and then progress to the physical body. And certainly not all women who have a high fat and high dairy diet develop ovarian cancer. Dr Northrup suggests that women take care of their ovaries and uterus by reclaiming and expressing whatever this deep creative energy is for them. She suggests taking the time to do this daily.
A recent scientific study has also found that drinking two cups or more of tea a day can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 46%. This study was done in Sweden over a 15 year period. Sweden is a country where there is a higher risk of ovarian cancer, as are other countries with a high dairy consumption (Denmark and Switzerland).
References:http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=64537Dr Christiane Northrup, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Piatkus, 1995)
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