Ovarian Cancer Month, a disease playing Hide & Seek – September 2012

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary. Symptoms are frequently very subtle early on and may include: bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating and frequent urination, and are easily confused with other illnesses.

Most (more than 90%) ovarian cancers are classified as “epithelial” and are believed to arise from the surface (epithelium) of the ovary. However, some evidence suggests that the fallopian tube could also be the source of some ovarian cancers. Since the ovaries and tubes are closely related to each other, it is thought that these fallopian cancer cells can mimic ovarian cancer. Other types may arise from the egg cells (germ cell tumor) or supporting cells. These cancers are grouped into the category of gynecologic cancer.

Some women with ovarian cancer have been wrongly diagnosed with other conditions, such as anaemia, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome, the MDU found. Ovarian cancer poses “a significant diagnostic challenge” to doctors because many of its symptoms are the same as those in other conditions, it said.

About 6,500 women develop ovarian cancer every year in the UK, and more than 4,000 die as a result. Early diagnosis is vital to a woman’s chances of surviving for at least five years.

Ovarian cancer is hard to spot because it is “a chameleon disease where typical symptoms, such as stomach pain and bloating, are very similar to those of other common conditions”. For example, it was several months before one woman was diagnosed because of her history of gastrointestinal problems, which her doctor thought were the cause of her symptoms. Even a large ovarian tumour can produce no symptoms, she added.

Ovarian cancer does have symptoms, but they are often misdiagnosed or overlooked because of their similarity to the symptoms of many more common health conditions in women.

“It is understandable for patients and their families to feel that an opportunity has been missed when doctors do not initially make the correct diagnosis but given the non-specific nature of the symptoms, failure to diagnose ovarian cancer is not necessarily negligent”, said Sutcliffe. But ovarian cancer is so serious that any doctor considering it as a possible diagnosis should always refer a patient for further assessment, treatment or tests, especially if their condition does not improve.

Ovarian cancer is most common in women over age 55, according to the National Cancer Institute, and women who have never been pregnant are at an increased risk. Women with a family history of ovarian, breast, uterus or colorectal cancer also have a higher chance of developing the disease.

Called the “silent killer” for its often misdiagnosed or overlooked symptoms, ovarian cancer has many famous faces as allies in raising awareness for the cause.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,280 U.S. women receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis each year, and about 15,500 will die from ovarian cancer. It’s the ninth most common cancer among women, but fifth in cancer deaths among women.

What are the key statistics about ovarian cancer?

The American Cancer Society most recent estimates for ovarian cancer in the United States are for 2012:

  • About 22,280 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
  • About 15,500 women will die from ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. It ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in women. A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 71. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 95. (These statistics don’t count low malignant potential ovarian tumors.)

This cancer mainly develops in older women. About half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 60 years or older. It is more common in white women that African-American women.

The rate at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been slowly falling over the past 20 years.



We are less than a week away from the Walk!


Walkers: Use our fundraising tool box to help us reach our fundraising goal of 3 million dollars!

We can’t do it without you!


Your fundraising makes a difference in funding Ovarian Cancer Canada’s many support, awareness and research programs. With your support, we strive to reach our goal to achieve early detection of ovarian cancer and increase survival rates for all women.
Fundraising is not as difficult as it may seem. You‘ll discover that your family, friend, colleagues and local community members and businesses are actually quite willing to donate. They want to help, especially when you can give them the facts that build a compelling case. We’ll help you reach that goal by making fundraising quick and easy.

Get started

Register online and set up your personal fundraising page. You are more likely to receive donations if you include a message as to why you are participating in the Walk of Hope and post a photo and video.
>> Learn more about how to fundraise online.
Request donations from your contacts (friends, family, coworkers, etc.). Email templates are provided once you register online. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who give when asked.
Be creative. Set up your own fundraising campaign. You will find below some fundraising tools to help you get energized about fundraising for the 2012 Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope!

Fundraising Tools

You will find below some ideas and tips to help you in your fundraising campaign and spread awareness.

Injustices Video
Watch and share our new video about the inustices of ovarian cancer. Keep the message moving. Copy the link in all your communications to encourage people to support your cause.

OCC Walk of Hope mobile app
Enhance your fundraising, update your personal page and collect funds directly from your mobile device. It’s secure, fast and free. Download it now for Android or iPhone device by clicking on the corresponding icon.

2012 Walk Poster
Promote the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in your community. Download the official 2012 Walk Poster and update with your local information. Check out your location page for details.
>> If your local Walk is happening on an alternative date, please contact Cécile Pillon-Hue.

Fundraising Chart
Motivate your team by tracking your fundraising progression in real time.
Click the icon to download and print the PDF.

Fundraising Tips
Need some good fundraising ideas? Review our list of fundraising tips and find one that speaks to you.
>> Download Fundraising Tips

Got a great fundraising idea?

Please, do not hesitate to share with us.
>> Email Ovarian Cancer Canada


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