Every year, over 250,000 women in North Carolina and the rest of world receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Each year, 140,000 women will die from the disease. It is important that women do not mistake the early indications of ovarian cancer with medical issues that are less serious as doing so can lower their chances of having successful treatment.
Women who are experiencing symptoms such as belly pain, increased urination, indigestion or nausea, bloating, weight gain, shortness of breath or back pain for more than a week should speak with their physician as soon as possible. They should make sure that the physician verifies whether there are any issues with their ovaries.
Women should also understand that having Pap smears is not helpful when it pertains to ovarian cancer. While the test can be used to help with detecting cervical cancer, it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer.
While 1 in every 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, all women are at risk for developing the disease. Women with close relatives who have had ovarian cancer and women who have previously had breast cancer or some other types of cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease. Other high risk factors of ovarian cancer include obesity, being older than 70 years old and infertility.
Women should also be aware that there are over 100 genes that are associated with a higher risk for ovarian cancer. Women may consult a genetic counselor to determine if they carry any of these genes.
A medical malpractice attorney may work to hold negligent medical personnel and facilities financially liable for the misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer. Financial compensation might be pursued for the financial and emotional costs of a worsened medical condition, delayed treatment and unnecessary medical expenses.