Facts About Ovarian Cancer

Connecticut women who have a family history of ovarian cancer may be concerned that they are likely to get it as well, but heredity is only a factor in 10 percent of cases. There are a number of other significant risk factors that include diabetes, obesity and smoking. Despite a flurry of lawsuits, however, there is not a proven link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder.

There is currently not a vaccine or a very reliable test for ovarian cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer, and Pap smears test for cervical cancer. However, more reliable tests for ovarian cancer are on the way, and there are steps women can take to protect against it. These include exercising, eating a healthy diet, taking hormonal birth control and reducing obesity. The cause of ovarian cancer is not known, but ovarian cysts are unlikely to lead to it.

Early symptoms of ovarian cancer are often misdiagnosed as menstrual or gastrointestinal issues. The symptoms tend to be nonspecific and include bloating, indigestion, pain during sex and rapid weight loss. Therefore, people who have symptoms such as these may want to insist on having their ovaries checked as well. Ovarian cancer has a survival rate of around 50 percent with new treatments.

An early diagnosis can be critical in ovarian cancer. The difficulty in detecting the cancer means that not every delayed diagnosis is necessarily a case of medical malpractice in a legal sense. However, cases that could be medical malpractice might be those in which a test is misread, a person who asks for a test for ovarian cancer is denied, or the symptoms are ignored. In determining whether medical malpractice has occurred, a court will consider whether the patient received a reasonable standard of care or if there was medical negligence.