What you need to know for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

What you need to know for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. How much do you know about assessing your risks?

1 in 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime and two thirds of those diagnosed won't survive. KULR 8's Melissa Scavelli spoke with Billings Clinic Director of GYN Oncology Erin Stevens and non-profit Bright Pink about what all women need to know to increase their chances of beating the disease.

Ovarian cancer is three times more deadly than breast cancer because it is harder to notice. Most women diagnosed don't know they have ovarian cancer until it's too late.

Dr. Stevens said, "The biggest symptoms that women will complain of is bloating, fullness, a decrease in appetite where they don't eat a lot of food but they feel full very quickly, and changes in their bowel movements or changes in the way they urinate. This is something that happens every day or more days than not over the course of two to four weeks."

With early detection, Bright Pink said the five year survival rate is more than 92 percent. However, that can be tricky because there is no pre-screening test for ovarian cancer.

Bright Pink has developed a survey to assess your risks for ovarian and breast cancer along with offering ways to help reduce your risks.

Bright Pink CEO, Katie Theide, said "Today it is more imperative than ever before that women take an active role in their health management. This ovarian cancer awareness month, Bright Pink will teach women what it means to be ovarian self aware and how to put that awareness in action."

Dr. Steven's also said "Gynecologic cancers are 3 times more fatal than breast cancer so we don't have as many survivors out there that are able to do the education the way they are with breast cancer. I would love to see people just as comfortable with their internal female organs are we are with our external organs. I would love to see people realize to not to be afraid to talk about the fact that they had a uterine cancer or cervical cancer or vulvar cancer to be able to educate others and not feel that shame and stigma that goes along with gynecological cancer that we've taken away with breast cancer."

Bright Pink also says that 25 percent of ovarian cancer cases are hereditary so they want to link women to genetic counselors to assess the genetic risks.

Information for ovarian self-awareness can be found on the KULR 8 connection page.

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