How Black Women Are Affected Differently By Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is perhaps one of the most dangerous diseases because it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body very quickly, often without the knowledge of the victim. It is also the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, with more than 22,000 US women facing a potential diagnosis in the next few years, and around 15,000 dying from it.

If it’s caught in 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. While Black women have a lower incidence rate of ovarian cancer than their white counterparts, their 5-year survival rate is significantly lower because of late detection.

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 sex, per The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. While these signs aren’t direct indicators of cancer, if they continue for more than 14 days, women should pay close attention to them and mention their concerns to an OB/GYN immediately.

Since the symptoms of ovarian cancer are very unclear and could easily be conflated with other minor health issues, the fact still remains that these often overlooked symptoms contribute heavily to