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Ovarian cancer is one of the most silent oncological diseases

Ovarian cancer is one of the most silent oncological diseases

Women learn to recognize the first signs of ovarian cancer

Each year, about 600 new cases are diagnosed in Portugal. NiT has prepared an essential health guide.

Ovarian cancer symptoms are nonspecific.

The numbers are cool and scary. According to data from Globocan, in 2020, 561 new cases were diagnosed in Portugal and 408 deaths from this tumor were recorded. Portugal has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe. However, ovarian cancer is associated with a very high mortality rate. We are talking about the eighth leading cause of cancer death for women worldwide.

This is a silent disease, and the fact that it is usually diagnosed at a more advanced stage threatens treatment. Unlike other types of cancer, which allow for early diagnosis, ovarian cancer usually only causes symptoms when it reaches the most advanced stages. About 75 percent of cases are identified in stages III and IV.

“The ovarian cancer It is known as the silent disease, i.e. it grows without giving any sign until it has progressed. This concept is well understood if we imagine that there is enough space within the pelvic region to gradually increase the size of the small lesion without the woman realizing it. It is known that only about 20 percent of these tumors are diagnosed at an early stage of the disease. Most cases are unfortunately diagnosed at an advanced stage.” Dr. Susana Souza, of CUF Hospital Porto, tells NiT.

After all, what symptoms should you watch out for?

Depending on the case, the diagnosis is initially made through a medical examination, during which an assessment of the patient is made, and pressure is made on the abdomen to check for irregularities. Next, blood tests are done, with a biopsy in which tissue or fluid is collected for analysis or through imaging tests (radiography, ultrasound, MRI, or CT).

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Additionally, genetic testing is available. Genes are the parts of the DNA code that we inherit from our parents. Ten to fifteen percent of cancers arise from a genetic syndrome with mutations in genes that are passed from parents to children. These syndromes may be associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. These changes not only increase the risk of breast cancer, but also increase the risk of ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

In order to give a voice to this silent cancer, the “I Meet saBeR mais Conta – Ovary Cancer” campaign has been organized, where some specialists will hold sessions on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, risk factors, diagnosis, the relationship between BRCA gene mutations and a round table on how to “cope against the disease”. Unspoken: Knowing You’re Not Alone! In addition, there will also be useful workshops for those facing the disease. If you want to know more about ContatA saBeR mais campaigns, visit Facebook.