NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — September is ovarian cancer awareness month and while ovarian cancer is rare, the survival rate is low.
Ovarian cancer is not easily detectable in its early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, the most common symptoms include bloating, pelvic-abdominal pain, and urinary symptoms.
News 8 spoke with co-directors of the Sexual Intimacy and Menopause Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven.
“Early detection is great, prevention is even greater. So, there’s so much that we can actually prevent adequately by knowledge. Knowledge of what genes you are carrying. Knowledge of your ethnicity and where you come from. And what kind of cancers can run in the family in affiliation of those,” said Dr. Elena Ratner, Oncologist & Gynecologist at Yale Medicine.
Doctor Ratner said medical providers need to listen better to women, who in her words when they know what they feel, they need to demand the care they deserve.
Dr. Minkin said not to be scared of the symptoms but to pay attention to them and if caught early, patients can do very well.
“The other thing that Elena and I have been working on for many years is to take care of these patients post-operatively because many women are concerned about sexual side effects, hormonal side effects. Issues like hot flashes, and things like dryness and pain. And the good news is we can take care of these,” said Dr. Mary Jane Minkin & Gynecologist at Yale Medicine.