Ovarian Cancer: Black Women & The Survival Gap

side profile of african american woman(BlackDoctor.org) — Ovarian cancer is a serious and under-recognized threat to women’s health. Though it is more prevalent in white women, African American women are more likely to die from it than any other race. Currently, 50% of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer die from it within five years; among African American women, only 46% survive five years or more.

What you need to know

  • 90% of women are able to be cured because of earlier detection.
  • Many women diagnosed with this form of cancer do not have regular symptoms.
  • Ovarian cancer is treated through the combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
  • African American women are least likely to undergo genetic counseling, even though it is highly recommended.
  • Regular pelvic exams are strongly encouraged for early detection.
  • 75% of cases will spread to abdominal area by the time it is detected.

5 Ways To Prevent Ovarian Cancer

1. Go on the Pill
Researchers estimate that taking birth-control pills can cut your risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 50 percent. The longer you take the pill, the more your risk is reduced. Studies show that the greatest preventative effects are attained after oral contraceptives have been used continually for five years or more. However, you should remember that certain genetic mutations combined with the use of oral contraceptives may mean an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women with the BRCA mutation should understand the breast-cancer risks associated with long-term use of birth-control pills.

2. Work out, Eat Right, Reduce Risk
If you eat a lot of fiber, limit intake of fats and meats and alcohol intake, you’re on the right track. You should also exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy body-mass index. Studies show that exercising at least three times a week can help prevent ovarian cancer.

3. Ask for Analysis
If you have a history of ovarian cancer in your family, ask a gene therapist to conduct an analysis. This procedure scrutinizes your genetic makeup to determine whether you’re carrying mutations known to be linked to ovarian cancer. While it’s a daunting prospect for some women, it can also be a vital preventative tool and help you make more informed decisions about lifestyle choices that can reduce your overall risk.

4. Tubal ligation
Researchers aren’t sure why, but if you’ve had children and you’re going to get your tubes tied, you’re also reducing your risk of developing ovarian cancer. Scientists speculate that the reason for this may be linked to the inability of carcinogens entering the body through the vagina to reach your ovaries after tubal ligation has been implemented.

5. Raise a Family
“Be fruitful and multiply” is excellent advice for women looking to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer. If you have a child before the age of 30, you’ve significantly reduced the chance of developing the condition. Women who have multiple children, particularly those who breastfeed, can slash their ovarian-cancer risk by as much as 60 percent.

5 Essential Fixes For A Funky Body

woman frowned at man trying to kiss herBad breath, musty underarms, stinky feet…even those down-below parts. All of us have the occasional body part that smells less than sweet.

Luckily, there are lots of simple foul-odor fixes, as well as easy ways to detect if it’s time for a doctor visit…


Most fiber-rich foods, including brocoli, beans, and even greens, can make you gassy. In addition, if you’re lactose-intolerant, but couldn’t resist that glass of milk with your cookies…you know where we’re going with this.

Fix It: Take some Pepto-Bismol or other gas-reducing supplements like Beano. Be sure to take them while eating the offending food item to help control the situation ahead of time. Also, if you’re not moving your bowels regularly, the build-up can lead to excessive gas. To stay regular, be sure you’re getting more fiber and less white flour in your diet. Head to the bathroom at your first urge to go because you might get the signal to move your bowels only once a day.

See you doctor if: Gas is a persistent problem for you – it could be a sign of gallbladder disease (other signs include frequent burping and abdominal pain, especially after eating greasy foods).


When your feet sweat or get wet, bacteria build up and cause odor, says Kelly Geoghan, DPM, a podiatrist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Fix It: Dry your feet well after every shower and be sure to wipe between your toes. If sweat’s your problem, spray your feet with an antiperspirant from the deodorant aisle of the drugstore, Dr. Geoghan suggests. Also, if you can help it, avoid wearing socks and heavy shoes in the head, if possible. If these methods don’t get rid of the stench, says Geoghan, a prescription-strength roll-on made for body odor can also help.


Scrubbing your underarms when you shower and using an over-the-counter deodorant should keep armpit odor in check. But some people still seem to have a problem, no matter what they do.

Fix It: If stinky underarms is a problem, you may be an excessive sweater and need a prescription antiperspirant from your doctor, says Dana Simpler, MD, a physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. In extreme-sweat situations, Botox treatments under the arms can help. Dr. Simpler also tells patients who don’t want to use deodorant to soak a cosmetic pad with rubbing alcohol and apply it under their arms. Why? The alcohol kills the bacteria that lead to body odor.


The most common cause of stinky breath? Your diet, says David M. Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Spices, garlic, and onions are known to make your breath smell for hours after you eat them, Dr. Leader says.

Fix It: Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. If that doesn’t stop the problem, you could have halitosis, which can be caused by bad dental hygiene (bits of food get stuck between your teeth and gums and begin to emit foul odors). Gum disease, dry mouth, and other dental health problems could also be at root, so it’s important to talk to your dentist.

Those Down-Below Parts

For the most part, those places shouldn’t have a naturally bad odor — but sweating “down there” can cause a stench (just as it does on other parts of your body).

Fix It: Wash daily with warm water and a mild non-drying soap (but skip the soap near openings). Also, keep the area dry, change your undies as needed and opt for fabrics that breathe, like cotton. If you do have persistent odor, it could mean you have a harmful infection. In addition to an unpleasant smell, infections can also cause discharge, pain, itching, or burning. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor for treatment. You may also be able to avoid some infections by keeping your blood sugar levels low, Simpler says — at the first sign of a possible infection, cut out sweets, sugar, and soda.

By following the tips above, you’ll be back to your sweet-smelling self in no time!