Hate the cold? Need a good reason to move to a warmer area?
Some recent research now shows a correlation between the chance of developing ovarian cancer and living in a sunnier region. The study which appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at ovarian cancer rates in 175 countries and found a correlation between latitude and UV exposure levels. Basically, women who live in sunnier places have a lower chance of developing ovarian cancer. It could be that these women have more vitamin D production.
Or it could be that its just a correlation and doesn’t really mean anything at all.
And then of course there is the whole skin cancer risk.
Should you move to a sunny place or stand out in the sun all day to avoid ovarian cancer? No, of course not. This is not a good reason to move. The author of the study suggests people make sure they get enough vitamin D. Shouldn’t people being doing that already?
And as long as I’m in the mood for writing about research that states the obvious –
Another study, this one in Cancer, by Dr. Andrew Li of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles looked at data from 216 women who had surgery for ovarian cancer between 1996 and 2003. What they found is that women who are obese or overweight have a lower survival rate than those who aren’t. Is this really surprising to anyone? There is all sorts of data indicating that obese people are susceptible to all sorts of health complications.
I was hoping to get out of this mood by now – but I guess not.
I read another article that claims that the symptoms of ovarian cancer aren’t really that vague and most women who are diagnosed had a number of previous warning signs. Some of these symptoms are:
Abdominal discomfort or bloating.
Persistent gastrointestinal upset.
Frequent or urgent urination.
Unexplained weight loss or gain.
Ongoing unusual fatigue.
Unexplained changes in bowel habits.
I pretty much have all these symptoms all the time and always have. I guess its just a matter of degree, but without some way of quantitating these – its pretty useless. The bottom line is that there is still no way to effectively diagnose ovarian cancer in its early stages.
On the positive side, apparently there has been some progress made in treating ovarian cancer in the past 40 years. In the 70’s the drugs available weren’t too effective. In the 80’s and 90’s platinum based drugs were used. Since then a combination of platinum and taxane given intraperitoneally has been used and can reduce the death rate by as much as 55%. This was in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Of course the death rate from ovarian cancer is still appalling. About 3 out of 4 women diagnosed with it will die. With around 20,000 women diagnosed with it per year, that’s around 15,000 per year dead.
That’s a pretty negative post for this time of year isn’t it? I promise I will try to be more positive next time!
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