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6 Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer That Every Woman Should Know

September 14, 2017

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September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so it's a good time to learn more about early detection and save lives. About 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the US. While about half of all cases happen in women who are age 63 and older, all women face some risk of developing the disease. Certain risk factors, including being overweight and a history of ovarian cancer in the family, may increase your chances of being diagnosed. Ovarian cancer research clinical trials are underway, but it's still good for patients to be educated about detecting ovarian cancer early.

Only 19% of women are diagnosed in the early stages of this disease. That’s because many symptoms of ovarian cancer could also be signs of less serious medical problems. However, if you notice any of these symptoms for more than 12 days per month and they are new to you, it is time to visit your gynecologist for a checkup:

1. Changes in Appetite

Some women with ovarian cancer will notice they suddenly have trouble eating or are full very quickly. If you can't explain these changes in your appetite due to stress or other known stomach problems, you should schedule an appointment with your physician.

2. Bloating or Increase in Abdominal Girth

Bloating can be a common symptom of PMS or eating a lot of salt. However, if you have a sudden increase in the size of your abdomen it could also signal a problem with your ovarian health. You may or may not have pain along with bloating, even if it is a symptom of ovarian cancer.

3. Frequent Urination

Women with ovarian cancer may also notice that they suddenly have to use the restroom more often. Because your bladder and ovaries are close together, your urinary tract can be affected by the health of your ovaries. You may also notice that you have to go to the bathroom urgently more often.

4. Changes in Menstruation

A change to your period cycle could be related to ovarian health. If you are premenopausal and suddenly have more painful periods or an irregular cycle, you should schedule a physical with your doctor. This is especially true if you are unable to manage a regular and pain-free cycle even while on oral birth control. Similarly, if you are postmenopausal and have unexpected bleeding you should go to a gynecologist for an exam.

5. Discomfort in the Pelvis

Cancer research shows that pain in and around your pelvis and hips can be another sign of ovarian cancer. If you have discomfort that can't be explained by cramps or constipation, it may be a sign you should have your ovarian health checked.

6. Low Energy

A general lack of energy that can't be fixed with diet or exercise could also be a sign of cancer. If you have tried taking vitamins, getting more sleep and other traditional remedies without success, it's worth a trip to the doctor to find out what is going on.

Early detection is key for overcoming ovarian cancer. The sooner it is identified, the early you can start treatment. If you notice any of these signs for a prolonged period of time or they can't be explained, visit your doctor as soon as possible. 


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Lung Cancer Risks, Signs, Symptoms & Screening

September 13, 2017

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The risk of developing cancer in one’s life is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women. Cancer screening is available to detect several types of cancer. The intent of this screening is to find and treat early stage cancers. People whose cancers are found early are more likely to survive these cancers than are those whose cancers are not found until symptoms appear. For people who have a family history of cancer, screening becomes even more important, since that population is at a higher risk of developing the disease. The information below is meant to be used as a guideline. Individuals experiencing any of these symptoms should consult their physician.

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Breast Cancer Risks, Signs, Symptoms & Screening

August 29, 2017

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Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells in the breast. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States.

Risk Factors

  • Age: Most breast cancers develop in adults over the age of 50
  • Family history: The chance of developing breast cancer increases when immediate family members have had the disease
  • Personal history: Women who had cancer in one breast have an increased risk of developing cancer in another area of that same breast or in the other breast
  • Reproductive history: Women who began menstruating before 12, who experienced menopause after 55, who were pregnant for the first time after age 30 or never had children can increase risk
  • Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol can slightly increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer
  • Weight: Being overweight is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer

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Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Read a Sunscreen Label

August 3, 2017

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Exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary cause of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers and premature aging. Both of these can be largely avoided by protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays – whether from the sun or tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day (10 am - 4 pm) can also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

With so many options, numbers and phrases on sunscreen packages, going to the store to choose the one that’s best for you can be overwhelming. Here are some things to help you understand what you’re reading on a sunscreen label.

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What Does Arizona Oncology’s APEx Accreditation for Radiation Oncology Mean for Cancer Patients?

July 31, 2017

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Arizona Oncology has achieved a four-year accreditation from the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®). APEx is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program based on a set of sixteen evidence-based standards of radiation oncology practice. These standards are focused on five pillars of patient care:

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