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World Ovarian Cancer Day: No Woman Left Behind

I usually wonder why women have to experience so many issues as regards their health. If it’s not hormonal imbalance, it’s menstrual cramps or even menopause palaver. The woman human body is so complex and has so many delicate body parts and each has the potential of being affected by one illness or the other. Wait I know this is not women’s month, lol, and before you come for me, I thought I’d celebrate all the women on this timeline and let you know that you’re special and if you’re a man, kindly celebrate the women in your life, they’re handling a whole lot when it comes to their bodies and health.

In this post our focus is on Ovarian Cancer. As most cancers, we’re aware that it is the abnormal growth and multiplication of defective cells that invade healthy tissue in any organ in the body, in this case the ovaries. The ovaries are the organs that produce the eggs that are being released every month during the menstrual cycle and also produce both oestrogen and progesterone. They are approximately the size of a walnut (asala) and are located at either side of the uterus.

Ovarian cancer statistics revealed that in 2020 alone, over 313 000 new cases were detected, and it is sighted as the 8th most common cancer amongst women whilst bagging number 18 in all cancers that affect humans. In Nigeria, ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer overall and the 2nd most prevalent affecting the female genital tract after cervical cancer.

Ovarian cancer has no definite causative factor, but the following risk factors can contribute to getting affected by the disease.

Ovarian Cancer risk factors

  1. Family history: Having a family member who has had the condition heightens the possibilities of you being affected as well.
  2. Age: The older you get, the more you become at risk. That’s why going for regular comprehensive health checks is very vital (you might want to check out the packages HCI offers).
  3. No history of being pregnant: This is not to spite anyone, but studies have revealed that women who have never been pregnant are at great risk of having the condition.
  4. Being overweight: You see why weight control and exercise is very important. It may not be a direct cause but make affect the overall potentials of recovery.
  5. Previous history of breast, uterine or colorectal cancer.

How do I know if possibly have Ovarian cancer?

Here are signs and symptoms to look out for

  1. Swelling or bloating in the abdomen
  2. Feeling full quickly while eating
  3. Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area
  4. Excessive weight loss
  5. Unexplained fatigue
  6. Back pain
  7. Frequent/urgent urination
  8. Menstrual irregularities

Prevention

Whilst prevention is not solely dependent on an individual’s efforts, there are some actions one can take to lower the risks significantly.

  1. Use birth control: birth control has been researched a great measure in reducing the risk factor of ovarian cancer, especially the pill so you might want to communicate with your doctor on which on suits you.
  2. Go for your health check-ups: Early diagnosis will help in early treatment and positive outcomes, but this can only happen if detected early through check-ups.
  3. Breastfeeding: nursing mothers gather in here and this is for those contemplating breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has numerous benefits including lowering the risk of ovarian cancer and it is recommended that breastfeeding be done for at least a year.
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: This should be part of your yearly goals by now as it places you in a good position to fight and recovery from conditions like ovarian cancer when they come knocking.

Don’t live in fear and don’t die in silence. The struggle for better health is for all of us, no one is left out. Being equipped with knowledge isn’t just for you alone but you can use it to help someone else so don’t forget to share.

Want to know how our health insurance packages work and how you can access check-ups as well; reach out to us at HCI Healthcare Today!

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate.

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3 Comments

  • Glory
    May 8, 2024

    Nice one,thank you HCI

  • Adekunle
    May 8, 2024

    Thank you HCI for the enlightenment

  • King Wan
    May 8, 2024

    Well said

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