As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the need to reach out to our country’s women to increase awareness of ovarian cancer signs and symptoms.  It is easy to disregard symptoms of ovarian cancer in these times of crisis when the main concern of individuals is on prevention of COVID-19.  This year in the USA, an estimated 21,404 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,204 women will die from this deadly disease per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with a 5-year survival rate of less than 50%.

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in later stages due to its symptoms being misdiagnosed as a more benign condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Overactive Bladder as stated in the attached info-graphic.  Unfortunately, there is no simple nor reliable way to screen for ovarian cancer in women that do not have any signs nor symptoms.  It is therefore extremely important for women to recognize ovarian cancer warning signs and learn how to reduce their risks.

Per a recent study published in the Journal of Rural Health (20 February 2020), “rural ovarian cancer patients have greater odds of being diagnosed at stage IV in Midwestern states independent of the distance they lived from their primary care physician and their socioeconomic status and could affect treatment options and mortality.  The researchers suggest that if rural women had better access to gynecological specialists in urban areas, it could make a difference, since those doctors are highly trained and may be able to recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer sooner than other health-care providers.”  Fortunately Sparta Community Hospital partners with Heartland Women’s Healthcare to provide gynecological services at their Broadway Plaza location in Sparta to their rural area.

As the COVID-19 remains active, Sparta Community Hospital is taking precautions with every patient, every time, in all of its facilities, keeping you safe and healthy.  You can feel secure with our team of professionals for all of your health care needs.  So please, don’t put off your annual wellness screenings, or a visit to your provider if you are experiencing health issues.