We know that receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis can be a scary and challenging experience, and we are here to support you through the journey. We have dedicated staff, exceptional volunteers, and a community of women who have gone through, or are still going through, the challenges of dealing with this disease. We are here for you through all stages of ovarian cancer.
Assisting and supporting ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers is at the heart of COCA's mission. Our community of women includes those newly diagnosed, in treatment, after treatment, in recurrence, and long-term survivors. Click HERE to find out all the ways that we are here for you.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Until there's a test, awareness is best!!
The first step to ovarian cancer awareness and detection is knowledge.
What is Ovarian Cancer: Ovarian cancer is a growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries (women’s reproductive glands that produce eggs or ova). Cancer that spreads to the ovaries but originates at another site is not considered ovarian cancer. Ovarian tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Although abnormal, cells of benign tumors do not metastasize (spread to other parts of the body). Malignant cancer cells in the ovaries can metastasize in two ways: directly to other organs in the pelvis and abdomen (the more common way), through the bloodstream or lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
What causes Ovarian Cancer: While the causes of ovarian cancer are unknown, some theories exist: Genetic errors may occur because of damage from the normal monthly release of an egg. Increased hormone levels before and during ovulation may also stimulate the growth of abnormal cells.
How do I know if I have Ovarian Cancer: Since there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, knowledge is power! Knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer and reporting them to your doctor if those symptoms are persistent (for more than two weeks in any month) is the first step:
- Abdominal pressure of pain
- Feeling full when eating a meal (or inability to finish a meal)
- Trouble with urination (increased frequency or urgency)
Find more information about symptoms and risk factors in our website section ‘Ovarian Cancer’