Can Ovarian Cancer be Detected Early?

Only about 20 percent of all ovarian cancers are found when they are still at an early stage, which is why ovarian cancer is often known as “the silent killer.” When ovarian cancer is detected early, while it remains localized, close to 94 percent of the women can expect to live longer than five years following the diagnosis. Early stage epithelial ovarian cancer—the most diagnosed type of ovarian cancer—can be extremely difficult to detect. This is due in part to the fact that the ovaries are small, and are deeply imbedded within the abdominal cavity on each side of the uterus. Further, the known signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be fairly vague, applying to any number of medical issues. Some of the typical symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Constantly feeling “full”;
  • Discomfort in the pelvic region or the abdomen;
  • Bloating or swelling in the pelvic region or the abdomen;
  • Indigestion, gas or nausea;
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits which have no explanation;
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss;
  • Fatigue, and
  • Abnormal bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.


Specific Ways to Find Ovarian Cancer

It is extremely important for women—particularly those with risk factors for developing ovarian cancer—to consider the following in order to remain healthy, and find ovarian cancer early, giving them a much higher chance of survival.

  • Women who have regular pelvic exams could increase their chances of finding ovarian cancer early. During a pelvic exam, the doctor feels the ovaries and uterus for size, shape and consistency.
  • Although a Pap test is generally much more effective in finding cervical cancer in its early stages, occasionally ovarian cancer can be detected through a Pap test, but generally at a more advanced stage.
  • See your health care professional if you have symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. Although most of the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer can be caused by other, much less serious issues, they are usually more severe when the cause is ovarian cancer. Abdominal swelling or bloating, pelvic pressure or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, or feeling full quickly or having to go to the bathroom often, or urgently—when a change from how a woman usually feels—can all be symptoms of ovarian cancer.
  • Consider a screening test for ovarian cancer. While there has been much research done to develop an ovarian cancer screening test, there has been little success. A transvaginal ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test are the two primary screening tests done to detect ovarian cancer in earlier stages. The transvaginal ultrasound looks at the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes via sound waves when an ultrasound wand is placed in the vagina. The TVUS can help identify an ovarian tumor, but can’t distinguish between a benign or cancerous tumor. The CA-125 test is not considered a solid ovarian cancer detection tool because a high CA-125 level can also be caused by a number of other conditions. It is important to understand the significant limitations associated with these two screening tools; while such screening can lead to further testing, these two particular tests have not been found to definitively lower the number of deaths related to ovarian cancer.
  • While there are no current screening tests for ovarian germ cell tumors or ovarian stromal tumors, some germ cell tumors have been found to release specific protein markers such as human chorionic gonadotropin and alpha-fetoprotein into the bloodstream.


Is there a way of knowing if I will develop Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer? Is baby powder with talc dangerous?

With talcum powder’s ever-increasing presence in the news, more and more women may be suffering some anxiety regarding whether their own use of talcum powder could potentially put them at risk of developing talcum powder ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a complex disease as well as one of the deadlier cancers; therefore women need, and deserve, answers to their many questions. At the center of the storm is Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower with talc. A significant body of research has shown that talcum powder ovarian cancer may significantly increase when a woman uses talcum powder for feminine hygiene. Many long time users of Talcum Powder for feminine hygiene wonder if there is some sort of Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Early Detection.


Unfortunately, there is currently no specific test to determine if a woman will develop talcum powder related ovarian cancer. Because this type of cancer is based on the introduction of a potentially carcinogenic material (talc fibers) into the reproductive tract rather than on the presence of a genetic marker, identifying its risk for development is more qualitative in nature.


Scientific Studies going as far back as the 1970s have demonstrated a link between the long term use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene and an increased risk for developing Ovarian Cancer. Generally, it takes repeated usage of talcum powder over a period of time to increase a woman’s risk of baby powder ovarian cancer, with steep rises after certain duration of usage.


Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation / Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Although Johnson & Johnson continues to maintain talcum powder is safe for women to use in the genital region, studies, as well as the recent rash of talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits, dispute that claim. The first talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit in 2013 ended with a jury finding that J & J was responsible for the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer, yet resulting in no damages. The second talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit, in February 2016, was brought by the family of Jacqueline Fox who died four months before the trial began.


A Missouri jury found in favor of the plaintiffs in that case, awarding $72 million--$10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The third talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was decided in May 2016, with another Missouri jury finding in favor of the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, to the tune of $55 million.  Ristesund, who said she used J & J talc based products (baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower) for nearly four decades, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. 


If you are a victim of ovarian cancer and you used talcum powder (talc is found in baby powder with talc and “Shower to Shower”) for feminine hygiene purposes, you could benefit from speaking to a knowledgeable talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney. Your talcum powder ovarian cancer lawyer understands this is a difficult time for you and is committed to protecting your rights. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, if appropriate, punitive damages as well. A well-qualified baby powder ovarian cancer attorney can properly investigate and evaluate you’re your potential talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit.

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