With vague symptoms often attributed to benign conditions, “The Silent Killer” is the chilling term by which ovarian cancer is commonly known. Often overshadowed by other cancers, ovarian cancer is not as widely publicized or commonly talked about in our society – but today, ovarian cancer is no longer silent.
Ovarian cancer is a growth of abnormal malignant cells beginning in the ovaries or nearby fallopian tubes. It’s referred to as “The Silent Killer” because, many times, no or few symptoms present until its later stages. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, frequent bloating or indigestion, abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, urinary problems such as an urgent need to urinate or urinating more often than usual, fatigue, increasing difficulty moving bowels, or persistent pelvic pain or aching.
The Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center is home to the most experienced and established gynecologic oncology practice in the Big Bend region. With only 1,000 gynecologic oncologists estimated in the United States, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is proud to have Amanda Stephens, DO, leading TMH Physician Partners – Gynecologic Oncology, alongside James Fanning, DO, and Carolyn Johnston, MD, in the fight against ovarian cancer at the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center.
Treating patients right here at home, our team is proud of the incredible advancements in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Specializing in complex and minimally invasive pelvic surgery, as well as comprehensive tumor debulking’s, our oncologists can use multiple different surgical strategies to best serve each patient. Additionally, significantly improved treatments options are available for women with gynecologic cancers at TMH, including IV and abdominal chemotherapies, advanced radiation techniques, immunotherapy and maintenance options to reduce the risk of recurrence. These treatment options as well as numerous support services are empowering women and restoring hope.
As September is recognized as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, women are urged to use this time to educate themselves, as all women are at risk for gynecologic cancers. For women, risk can be lowered by:
- Having regular screenings and exams with your gynecologist. This can result in the detection of certain types of gynecologic cancers in their earlier stages, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment and the possibility for a complete cure.
- Knowing your family’s history can help increase the chance of prevention or early diagnosis.
- Being aware of your body. If you experience any changes in your bladder, bowels or pelvis lasting more than a few weeks, it’s important to share this with your doctor.
- Eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising.
To learn more about gynecologic oncology and the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center, visit TMH.ORG/Cancer.