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At Risk for Breast Cancer? Check Ovarian Cancer Too  

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On 8th May every year, people across the globe celebrate world’s Ovarian Cancer Day. On this very date, much is done to make people aware of ovarian cancer. Adding up to that, in October every year, Breast Cancer Awareness is also done. Well, to some extent, these two types of cancer do co-relate.

Sometimes you may ask, “If my results for breast cancer reveal that I am negative, does the same apply to ovarian cancer?”

This is one of the frequently asked questions. The answer to that is NO. Research has been done by specialists and much has been noted.

Women suffering from breast cancer are also at a high risk of getting ovarian cancer. One is recommended to be checked up for both cancers at the same time. This will save you from much stress and cost in the near future. It enables you to know your current health status as soon as possible.

Why Test For Ovarian Cancer?

Based on past analysis done by a gynecologic oncologist in New York, ovarian cancer is a rare disease. However, it is a deadly disease and very hard to detect. There is no specific test done on a patient to determine whether one has ovarian cancer. A gynecologic oncologist in New York highly recommends people to be fully aware of their family health record. This will make it easier to know the genetic predisposition. However, there is also a blood test done to determine the genetics predisposing one to the illness. In short, if you have any sister, aunt, niece or any female relative who has breast or ovarian cancer; chances are you will also experience the same.

What Links Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer?

Let’s get down to a little bit of genetics and you will probably understand the concept. Basically, what I mean is the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes are the type of genes predisposed in women who have inherited a mutation in those two genes. That leads to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The BRCA1 and the BRCA2 do serve the purpose of DNA repair and cell growth. However, when gene mutation occurs, the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 loses its function. This later leads to cancer which can be ovarian or/ and breast cancer.

It is always depressing to hear that these mutations might not only put women at risk but also their offspring. This might not only lead to the two types of cancer discussed but also the fallopian tube cancer and peritoneal cancer.

How Are The Two Cancers Checked At Once?

The gynecologic oncologist will:

  • First, start by taking you through a breast exam
  • He/she will do an inquiry on your family’s medical history
  • Your pelvis will be examined. If there are signs of such as enlarged ovary or fluid in the abdomen, there are chances you might be suffering from cancer.
  • That will lead to a blood test and various forms of imaging such as ultrasound

It is good to note that a definitive diagnosis of ovarian cancer is only available after a pathologic sample is given, most commonly from a surgery. If ovarian cancer and breast cancer is diagnosed, both surgeries can be performed at the same time.Bottom of Form