How Black Women Are Affected Differently By Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is perhaps one of the most dangerous diseases because more than 80% of these cases are diagnosed in late stages. At that point, there’s also the chance that the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body very quickly, often without the patient knowing. It is also the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, with more than 22,000 U.S. women facing a potential diagnosis in the next few years, and around 15,000 die from it.
If it’s caught at an early stage (Stage 1-2), however, a woman has more than a 90 percent chance of long-term survival. Only about 20 percent of cases are caught in their early stage when the disease is most curable.
Although it seems Black women have a lower incidence rate of ovarian cancer than their white counterparts, it is unclear due to the fact that ovarian cancer detection tests are not sensitive enough for African American women. African American women are shown to have lower levels of circulating ovarian cancer markers (like the CA 125 protein), which makes it difficult for many tests to measure.
Key signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer that women should be aware of include bloating, pelvic or stomach pain, backaches, changes in eating habits or feeling full quickly, constipation, menstrual changes and pain during