October 3, 2012
Why we Need Increased Ovarian Cancer Research

Ovarian cancer kills the majority of the women who are diagnosed with it within five years. The main reason for this shocking death rate is that most cases of Ovarian Cancer are not caught until they are in late stages. While we now know the risk factors of this deadly disease, there are still many myths and much still unknown. Science still has not answered the questions that need to be answered to defeat this silent killer and there needs to be increased research to find new ways to detect and fight Ovarian Cancer.

There is still no test for Ovarian Cancer and diagnoses cannot be confirmed without surgery. Many people still believe that a Pap smear can accurately detect all kinds of Uterine and Ovarian Cancers, but it does not. This is just one of the many reasons that more research is needed.

Researchers have determined risk factors, both lifestyle and genetic that contribute to Ovarian Cancer. These include being overweight, smoking, poor nutrition, family history of Ovarian Cancer, and being a descendant of Ashkenazi Jews. Some of these risks can be reduced by adopting healthy habits, but others are beyond anyone’s control. The CA-125 test can tell doctors whether a woman is at risk for Ovarian Cancer, but cannot accurately predict whether a woman will develop it. One goal of researchers is to develop a more accurate test and find out more about the causes of Ovarian Cancer.

There still are not proven ways to prevent Ovarian Cancer. Because we simply do not know enough about this disease, we do not know how to stop it. Beyond the above mentioned risk factors, scientists have no clear guidelines to give patients who are genetically predisposed to this disease. We do not know why one woman will develop Ovarian Cancer and another will not, despite having the same background and risk factors.

Only more research can answer the myriad of questions we have about this deadly disease. Without knowing these answers we can never stop Ovarian Cancer. This means more sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends lost, ravaged by Ovarian Cancer. With research, someday we can hopefully end this deadly trend, but research faces many obstacles.

With governmental budget cuts, many of the research organizations have found their programs at risk of being cut. This cannot be allowed to happen. With fundraising efforts like sponsored runs and Frocktober, hopefully we can prevent this from happening.

 

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