September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, as first proclaimed by President Bush in 2008, after a resolution was introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a survivor of ovarian cancer. At Connexion Healthcare, we are helping to spread the message that ovarian cancer does have noticeable symptoms and that women should therefore pay attention to their bodies. The mission of the Oncology Center of Excellence at Connexion is to communicate relevant, evidence-based scientific information to improve patient outcomes.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. It is estimated that in 2016 more than 22,000 American women will be diagnosed with and about 14,000 will die from ovarian cancer.
Although 9 in 10 women will survive for more than 5 years if ovarian cancer is found early, before it spreads beyond the ovaries, only 15% of American women are diagnosed at this early stage. One reason for this low rate of diagnosis is that there is no screening test for ovarian cancer. Another reason is that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle and can be easily confused with other conditions.
If any of these symptoms are new or unusual for you and last for more than 2 weeks, see your doctor:
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pelvic or abdominal pressure or pain
- Back pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
Some of the following factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer:
- Increasing age: middle age or older
- Never having given birth or having trouble getting pregnant
- A personal history of endometriosis
- A personal or family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer
Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will necessarily get ovarian cancer.
About 15% to 20% of women with ovarian cancer have a hereditary tendency for the disease, which may include having a strong family history of ovarian cancer and/or carrying the BRCA genetic mutation that increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Not everyone who inherits a BRCA mutation will develop ovarian cancer, and not all inherited forms of ovarian cancer are due to BRCA mutations.
Although the death rate for ovarian cancer has remained the same for 30 years, federal appropriations for research into ovarian cancer have decreased in terms of real dollars. More research is still needed to develop an early detection test―and a cure.
During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we can join together to honor the women lost to this disease and all those who battle it today, while we continue working to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and to improve healthcare for those affected with the disease.
For more about ovarian cancer, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian.
About the Connexion Healthcare Oncology Center of Excellence
Connexion Healthcare is a full-service global provider of strategic medical and scientific communications with decades of experience providing exceptional service to the pharmaceutical industry. We provide services through 2 Centers of Excellence—Oncology and Rare Disease—and possess core expertise in these therapeutic areas and their marketplaces.
Connexion Healthcare’s Oncology Center of Excellence offers executive talent with decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Our medical directors have conducted oncology research at leading institutions and major pharmaceutical companies. Our account leads have years of project execution expertise, and our medical writers and editors are versed in the language of oncology. Our design leads are tops in their fields and ensure that your objectives are met effectively and even surpassed in an industry-eloquent and compliant manner. Our team works with you to conceive a strategy and execute communications through your product’s lifespan – from drug discovery through market launch and beyond. With particular expertise in phase 2 through postlaunch, we will engage with you wherever you are in development and whenever you need us.
For further information regarding the Oncology Center of Excellence at Connexion Healthcare and how we can develop oncology communications to differentiate therapies by their unique attributes, contact:
R. Steven Lang
Senior Vice President, Oncology
Val Sudakin, PhD
Senior Vice President, Head of Scientific Services