Most instances of ovarian cancer aren’t diagnosed until stage three or four. By this time, it’s normally too late for treatment. Here are some of the factors that lead to an increased risk for the cancer, and offered some solutions.
How To Fight Ovarian Cancer and Save Your Life
Get rid of Excess Weight
It’s not uncommon for a person to be overweight in America, and for women who are at least 25lbs. overweight, this means an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Fat, especially belly fat or fat around the waist, increases the risk of dying from ovarian cancer by 20%. There is also a risk involved with weight gain, in general. Ideally, a waist circumference should be less than 32 inches, with a Body mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
Birth Control Pills
Your cancer risk is higher if you have never taken birth control pills, or if you have taken them and then stopped after having children. Not having children also carries a higher risk for the cancer. Progesterone, an ingredient in birth control pills, helps to heal damage inside the ovaries, and heals small tears that can become tumors. Being on the pills for five years can lead to a 50% decrease in risk, and longer periods only improve that percentage. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also reduce the risk, and every pregnancy decreases the risk even further.
The digestion of lactose produces a by-product that can be toxic to ovaries. A serving of dairy (like a glass of milk or bowl of ice cream) contains around 10g of lactose. Consuming 30g of lactose a day can mean a 20% increased risk of ovarian cancer. Try and limit dairy intake to 10g (or one serving) per day. Try using soy milk or almond milk as a substitute.
Stress hormones, like epinephrine, encourage ovarian cancer cells to grow and spread throughout the body. We spend 60-80% of our day in a “fight or flight” mode, where the production of the hormone is high. Try doing relaxing or enjoyable activities to reduce stress levels, like watching funny TV, laughing, exercising, praying, or meditating.
Around 10-15% of ovarian cancer is related to a predisposition to other cancers. Check your family tree and see if there is a history of ovarian, breast, endometrial, or colon cancer. Make sure to check both sides of your family, as it is all relevant.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
These are the early warning signs of Ovarian Cancer that you need to be noting on a Calender:
1) Bloating or Increased Abdominal Size
2) Difficulty of Eating or Feeling Full quickly
3) Feeling a frequent or Urgent need to Urinate
4) Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
Dr. Oz has a sheet to help you detect and keep track of any warning signs and symptoms for Ovarian Cancer. You can download this sheet here.
If you notice these early warning signs for 2 weeks or more, then you should take this sheet with you to a doctor to do a test for Ovarian Cancer.
Some Solutions To Reduce Risk for Ovarian Cancer
Low-dose birth control can benefit all women. The longer that you are on the pills, the less your cancer risk will be. Even women in their 40’s should try being on the pills, so there is a better impact before hitting 50. For women over 35 who are smokers, there is a slightly increased risk of blood clots.
Having low levels of Vitamin D will increase cancer risk, or for someone who already has cancer, increase the chances of death. It is important to get your Vitamin D level checked, and it should be around 50. Vitamin D is hard to get from food, and being in the sun as a way of getting it will increase the chances of getting skin cancer, so a supplement is the safest option. Once your levels are correct, it should take around 1,000IU a day of Vitamin D3 supplement to keep them steady.
Warning Signs and Tracking
It is important to know early ovarian cancer warning signs, and track any new ones on a calendar. Signs include: pelvic or abdominal pain, bloating or increased abdominal size, feeling the frequent or urgent need to urinate, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly. These signs are common and can be quite subtle, so many women tend to ignore them. If a new symptom occurs and it lasts longer than two weeks, it’s important to go to a doctor. Fill out the Dr. Oz’s warning signs sheet and take it to your doctor, so they have more data to help assess you.
Having a low-fat but high-fiber diet will help reduce risk and regulate hormones. Try and have around 30g of fiber every day, as this will reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 22%.