We are pleased to announce another special deal happening right now over at Lee’s Hope Jewelry
THIS WEEKEND ONLY HALF PRICE SALE!
IN USA SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL AWARENESS MONTH
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of “awareness” when it comes to informing the public about ovarian cancer.
As an advocate/campaigner, I’ve spent the past 16 years attempting various methods of communicating this crucial information and have witnessed great movement during the years within the community, all proudly displaying their TEAL support.
Now for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the colour TEAL, please allow me to make things clearer.
Globally we know to “Think Pink” for Breast cancer and there’s a constant source of funding flowing as a result-
For Ovarian cancer to achieve the same status, “Feel Teal” came into existence.
It’s that simple.
But what can you do to help? That too is simple.
The Feel Teal Club invites you to add a Twibbon to your Twitter profile, showing your support for this cause.
When done, be sure to RETWEET and share share share!
From a whisper to a roar….ovarian cancer SILENT NO MORE!
Great progress has been made in the “battle” against ovarian cancer. Five-year survival rates have improved from 12-15 percent to 60-65 percent, and thanks to advances in treatment, ovarian cancer has been transformed from an “acutely lethal” disease to a chronic disease with many long-term survivors. As importantly, side effects and complications have decreased during treatment of this disease.
This success stems primarily from the diligent work of gynecologic oncologists, who have developed new innovations in care. Gynecologic oncologists are the only physicians who receive specific subspecialty training combining the important aspects in diagnosis, performing the optimal surgical procedure and chemotherapy selection of ovarian cancer.
It is important to understand that there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer, however contrary to popular thoughts, the disease is not silent.
The nonspecific abdominal symptoms often present with more common diseases, such as GERD, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. In fact, as many as 89 percent of women with early stage ovarian cancers demonstrate recurring abdominal complaints.
Women who have recurring or increasing symptoms (more than six times a month) should have their physician consider evaluation for ovarian cancer. This will entail a pelvic examination and likely a pelvic ultrasound and blood test. Unfortunately, the disease is most frequently diagnosed at a late stage.
Today, many procedures are completed with laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery) lessening complications and hastening recovery. Additionally, after optimal surgery (resulting in minimal residual disease) many women can have part of their chemotherapy instilled directly into the abdomen with excellent results and dramatically improved survival rates. Importantly, some women are best suited to be managed with chemotherapy before surgery, which allows the disease to shrink. Subsequent surgery is typically less extensive and often performed laparoscopically.
There are also new drugs that have proven effective for women with recurrent disease, as well as women who have the BRCA gene, which increases the risk of both ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
Historically, more women died from ovarian cancer than all other gynecologic cancers combined. However, when treated by the correct multidisciplinary team headed by a gynecologic oncologist that understands all aspects of the disease process, there is hope and promise for a cure.
When symptoms do eventually present, they are vague and often mistaken for diverticulitis (inflamed or infected pouches that form in the wall of the colon). Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
If you experience any of these symptoms and they increase in frequency or intensity, it’s important to see your doctor for a pelvic exam. Appropriate imaging is also necessary to rule out or diagnose ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer can be very difficult to detect and diagnose. Many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to symptoms caused by much less serious problems, including indigestion and bloating. Because the ovaries are deep within the pelvis, there often are neither signs nor symptoms of early ovarian cancer. Some cases of ovarian cancer will not be diagnosed until the cancer has spread to a woman’s abdomen or elsewhere within the pelvis. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer that has progressed this far is very difficult to treat. While the cancer remains confined to the ovaries, doctors have an easier chance of treating it. Advanced stages of ovarian cancer are frequently fatal.
Ovarian cancer occurs most frequently in older women. Ovarian cancer rates are highest in women aged 55-64 years.
The median age at which women are diagnosed is 63, meaning that half of women are younger than 63 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer and half are older. Ovarian cancer is rare in women younger than 40. However, it’s also possible for younger women and even adolescent girls to be diagnosed with a type of ovarian cancer.
According to research many cases in younger women have germ cell tumors, which is a different type of tumor from [the more common] epithelial tumor.
For further reading please view these links:
Many of us share a bundle of emotions when discussing ovarian cancer-
Many of us feel angry, many of us feel like we were “ripped off”….we hurt because we either feel more could have been done, or possibly because we believe we lacked the right information and support.
Like me, many struggle with the fact they had little time to find answers…there just didn’t seem to be anyone with the answers we were looking for and when we began the search, there seemed little anyone could do.
We feel our anger “justified”, mainly because WE were never told about ovarian cancer.And when this disease takes our loved-one from us, the anguish leads to “blame”. Why didn’t that doctor know? Why didn’t they do more? Why didn’t “I” do more?
And on and on it goes…..until we hear of others like us….others going through the same thing, the same pain the same suffering.
Others who had also felt “in the dark” when it came to this cancer and all asking the same question: “What IS ovarian cancer?”
Years later, and we still have much that needs to be done in ensuring this cancer receives more exposure but we have made progress and we will continue to do so!
The best plan of action next to a cure, is prevention, and the best weapon we have in this battle is “awareness”.
So…whenever we feel frustrated or angry that WE never knew, well…we know NOW.
Every time we wish WE could have done something…well, we can NOW.
You and I are now equipped with enough valuable information & resources to arm and protect others just like us and by doing so, enables THEM to pass it along.
I had made a promise….that no other woman would die in vain, and by spreading awareness I believe Ive kept that vow.
From a whisper to a roar….ovarian cancer, silent NO MORE!
Veronica Hackethal, MD
January 07, 2015
For patients with ovarian cancer who are in remission, the probability of remaining disease-free improves considerably over time, and conditional disease-free survival might be a good estimate of prognosis for these patients, according to a new study.
The study, which was published in the December issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first to look at conditional disease-free survival in patients with ovarian cancer.
“We observed that at time of remission, the probability of staying disease-free for 3 more years was 48%. This increased to 98% for patients who had remained disease-free for 5 years after remission,” said lead author Brenda Diergaarde, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Prognosis usually improves over time, Dr Diergaarde pointed out. Traditional survival estimates, like overall survival (estimated at diagnosis) and disease-free survival (estimated at remission), might not apply to patients in remission for a certain period of time.
Conditional disease-free survival, however, takes into account changes in the probability of remaining disease-free over time, as well as the amount of time since achieving remission, Dr Diergaarde explained.
“Time elapsed since remission should be taken into account when making follow-up care decisions,” Dr Diergaarde emphasized. “Having more accurate information about the risk of recurrence will allow patients and clinicians to make better informed decisions regarding follow-up care after ovarian cancer treatment. It may also lead to a better quality of life [for patients] because a more accurate prognosis can ease their fears about the cancer coming back.”
Estimation of Conditional Disease-free Survival
In their study, Dr Diergaarde and colleagues used data from 404 patients with ovarian, fallopian, and peritoneum cancer who were diagnosed from 2003 to 2008 and who had achieved remission. All patients were part of the large case–control Hormones and Ovarian Cancer Prediction (HOPE) study.
The HOPE study involves patients from western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and western New York who entered the study within 9 months of their diagnosis. Researchers gathered demographic and lifestyle information at study enrollment, and used medical records to obtain information on disease, treatment, and outcomes. They calculated disease-free survival as the amount of time between remission and recurrence, or date of last contact, and estimated conditional disease-free survival from cumulative disease-free survival estimates.
Most patients (96.8%) were white, and 5.5% had a family history of ovarian or breast cancer. Patients who had already survived 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years had a probability of 3 more years of recurrence-free survival of 63.8%, 80.5%, 90.4%, 97.0%, and 97.7%, respectively.
The probability of being disease-free 5 years after achieving remission increased from 44.6% at baseline to 63.3%, 80.5%, 92.4%, and 99.2%, respectively, 1, 2, 3, and 4 years into remission.
Although conditional disease-free survival always increases as the number of years spent in remission increases, certain subgroups in this study experienced larger increases, Alexia Lasonos, PhD, a biostatistician at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, pointed out in an accompanying podcast.
“The increase was larger for patients above 65 years of age, patients with advanced-stage disease, serous histology, and poorly differentiated tumors,” Dr Lasonos said. “This indicates that conditional disease-free survival improves most for patients who initially had the poorest prognosis.”
At the time of remission, disease-free survival estimates also varied, depending on age, stage, histology, and grade. These factors were important for patients who remained in remission for 3 years, she explained.
“If a patient was still in remission 4 years later, her age, stage, histology, and grade at diagnosis were no longer diagnostic in terms of disease-free survival,” she added. “What mattered most at that time is the fact that the patient had been in remission for 4 years.”
Dr Lasonos urged caution, though, when interpreting the results of this study. Conditional disease-free survival estimates always have a larger degree of uncertainty than baseline estimates, she noted. This is because fewer patients remain in remission over time.
In addition, results suggest that risk for recurrence is significantly higher in patients on maintenance chemotherapy. However, high-risk patients are more likely to have received maintenance chemotherapy, which could have biased these results. Other limitations of the study could have been its observational nature and its lack of a standardized surveillance group.
Nevertheless, Dr Lasonos commended Dr Diergaarde’s team for their work.
“With new successful treatments and advances in immunotherapy that have extended time in remission for this patient population, these conditional estimates become more relevant for ovarian cancer patients,” Dr Lasonos emphasized.
Future research will need to focus on developing prognostic tools that take time in remission into account, she concluded.
“This is an important contribution to both the literature and the discussion of the way survival outcomes might optimally be presented to cancer patients,” said Maurie Markman, MD, senior vice president for clinical affairs at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, and Medscape video blogger for Markman on Oncology, who was not involved in the study.
“Until this report, we really did not have a solid strategy to develop specific numbers that could be provided to patients who have already survived a period of time without recurrence,” Dr Markman explained. “Hopefully, in the future, the concept of conditional disease-free survival will become a regular part of discussions within the oncology community and with patients,” he said.
Dr Diergaarde and Dr Lasonos have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr Markman reports receiving fees from Celgene, Caris Life Sciences, Novartis, sanofi-aventis, Amgen, and Genentech.
Article courtesy www.medscape.com/
Women with an overall higher quality diet prior to diagnosis with ovarian cancer may have a lower risk of all-cause mortality, according to data taken from the Women’s Health Initiative.
Those women with a small waist circumference and without a history of diabetes may have an even greater protective effect, the study found.
“In this analysis, none of the individual dietary components was associated with mortality after ovarian cancer, suggesting that it is the overall dietary pattern that is relevant,” wrote researchers led by Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD, of Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona. “A large, randomized, controlled trial is currently underway to test the hypothesis that dietary changes toward higher Healthy Eating Index, along with physical activity, adopted after treatment for stage II-IV ovarian cancer will improve progression-free survival.”
The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, looked at 636 women with ovarian cancer from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study of Clinical Trials, which included postmenopausal women followed from 1995 to 2012. The researchers measured dietary quality using the Healthy Eating Index, a food frequency questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed dietary factors including intake of whole fruits and vegetables, dark green and orange vegetables, whole grains, milk, meat, beans, and fats. The women were separated into three groups based on dietary quality.
The researchers found that women with the highest-quality diet had a 27% decreased all-cause mortality after ovarian cancer diagnosis compared with women in the lowest tertile for dietary quality (HR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.97). Specifically, a 40% lower mortality risk was found in those women with a waist circumference of 88 cm or less. A 27% lower risk was found in those women with no prior history of diabetes.
When patients were stratified according to physical activity levels, the researchers observed no modification of the association between diet quality and survival.
“Whether changing diet to increase diet quality score after ovarian cancer diagnosis would offer improvement in mortality is yet to be determined,” the researchers concluded.
Article courtesy: http://www.cancernetwork.com/diet-quality-ovarian-cancer-diagnosis-linked-survival