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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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December 19, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 19 - December 25, 1997 - 35 Cancer Watch Ovarian cancer's prefert ett prey: women in thq.00J'x 5qr00, 60s By Vincent Killeen, M.D. Dealing with cancer and facing the facts is always in the back of every patient's mind, and of all the cancers to which women fall prey, the most deadly is ovarian cancer. The majority of time this cancer is discovered late in its course and unfortunately, given that, the odds of cure have already dropped to little more than one in 10. The fortunate part, however, is that this cancer is also quite rare. The overall chances of developing breast cancer is about one in 100. You have to remember that this is in contrast to breast cancer, which is about one in eight. The highest risk group is in those women in their 50s and 60s, but still the odds against them are only one in 70. In the United States, approxi- mately 20,000 women a year find out they have breast cancer - ap- proximately 12,000 will die from it. Like all cancers, this one is most dangerous when discovered late. At that time, the hopes for a cure in the most advanced stages are only about five percent. On the other hand, there is a lot of reason to be optimistic if your doctor finds the disease early. Then the chances for cure are about two to one in your favor. The catch, however, is finding it early: The symptoms for ovarian cancer usually early on are rela- tively mild. The most frequent symptoms are vague stomach discomfort, swelling in the abdomen or abnor- mal bleeding. Unfortunately, many women have these types of nonspecific Enjoy the same digital technology that brought superior sound quality to CD players with 100% Digital Hearing Aids. Di00iFocus BY OTICON .... ! 00% Digital "By the time they are troubled enough to see the doctor, or the doctor feels an ovarian mass during the course of a normal examir a. tion, the disease may have spread too far." symptoms throughout their lives and a lot of times don't even both- er telling their doctor. By the time they are troubled enough to see the doctor, or the doctor feels an ovarian mass dur- ing the course of a normal exami- nation, the disease may have spread too far. Just because your" doctor does find an ovarian mass, it does not mean it is cancer. In fact, the great majority of ovarian masses detected in premenopausal women before the age of 50 pa- tients are benign and eventually disappear on their own. If you are over 50, an enlarge- ment is considered potentially more serious since the ovary shrinks during menopause and ovarian cancer occurs more fre- quently, as I stated, in women in their 50s and 60s. Still, most masses found in post-menopausal women after 50 are benign. The are several important risk factors of which women should be aware. Women at greatest risk are those who have a late onset of menopause, who never became pregnant or had their first preg- nancy after the age of 30, or who have been ovulating for more than 40 years. Other factors that are important are a family history of ovarian or by Widex Completely Automatic No volume control, no remote control, no need to select between different Certified listening programs. Dispenser HEARING AID ASSOCIATES Millsboro - 934-1471 Hours: Monday- Friday 9-5 p.m. o Evenings available by appointment. 2 miles N. of Rt. 24 on Rt. 30 6 miles S. of Rt. 9 on Rt. 30 uterine cancers, especially in mother or sister, having had breast cancer or benign breast disease or having had colorectal cancer or polyps. Of late research, it is not- ed that a mumps infection before the start of menstruation and a diet high in animal fat may also play a role. Diagnosis still remains difficult. If the doctor feels an enlarged ovary, the doctor most likely will send you for an ultrasound or sonogram of the pelvic area. This painless diagnostic test al- lows the doctor to see reproduc- tive organs by bounding sound waves all them, just like the sonar. Generally, if the mass is small and only one ovary is involved, the chances are very good that this is a benign, or non-cancerous, mass. It still may require treat- ment but at least you know it is not cancer. There is a blood test, CA-125 A complete selection of quality-made hospital-type home care beds and accessories is available at Edgecare T= Including both manual and electric beds, side rafts, trapeze bars and overbed tables. CALL US... WE WILL BE GLAD TO HELP. EDGEHILL PHARMACY Peddlers' Village Lewes, Del. 945-5066 Assay, that can also provide use- ful diagnostic information, but this test does not diagnose cancer and for the most part, it is used by physicians as part of the prediag- nosis workup, and if in fact cancer is found, it is used to predict the future of the disease. BOARD CERTIFIED FAMILY PHYSICIAN Steven H. Berkowitz, D.O. Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily If the ultrasound and blood tests suggest a mass may be cancerous, your doctor might recommend surgery be done through the ab- domen (laparoscopy or laparoto- my) in order to make a clear diag- nosis. Continued on page 36 * Accepting patients ages 2 and up. Long Neck Professional Center, Suite B Long Neck Road, Millsboro, Delaware By Appointment Only 302-945-7200 I COME IN FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A FREE CATALOG.