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Know The Symptoms

Until there's a test, awareness is best!
Colorado Gynecologic Cancer Alliance (formerly Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance) has a new mission to raise awareness of ALL gynecologic cancers and serve that larger community through our emotional and financial assistance programs.

It is important to know that the ONLY gynecologic cancer for which there is a test is CERVICAL CANCER (via a Pap Smear). No other gynecologic cancer has a test, so symptom knowledge is critical!
gyn cancer symptom check list

Ovarian Cancer awareness is key to our original mission as Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance:

Raise Awareness of ovarian cancer

Historically ovarian cancer was called the “silent killer” because symptoms were not thought to develop until the chance of cure was poor. However, recent studies have shown this term is untrue and that the following symptoms are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than those assigned female at birth in the general population. These symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
Individuals who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist.

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

Jodi's Race memorial banner

"I have been cancer free for months now. I went in for a simple stomach ache and left with the news that I had ovarian cancer. Now that I am cancer free thanks to chemo, doctors, and support from my family and community, I want to show back my gratitude by doing this race. We are not alone, we are in this together"

                              - E.F. 

Genetics: An inherited mutation of the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 are responsible for about 10 to 15 percent of all ovarian cancers. Eastern European women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at higher risk of carrying BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Women of Hispanic heritage, including those from Colorado's San Luis Valley, are also at higher risk for carrying this mutation.

Increasing Age: An individual's risk of developing ovarian cancer is highest during her 60's and increases with age through the late 70's

Reproductive history and infertility: An individual is at increased risk if they started menstruating at an early age, has not given birth to any children, had their first child after 30, experienced menopause after 50, or has never taken oral contraceptives.

Hormone replacement therapy: Women who use menopausal hormone therapy are at an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Recent studies indicate that using a combination of estrogen and progestin for five or more years significantly increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Ten or more years of estrogen use increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women who have had a hysterectomy.

Obesity: A 2009 study found that obesity was associated with an almost 80 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer in women 50 to 71 who had not taken the hormones after menopause.

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