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Ovarian cancer misdiagnoses and facts

Ovarian cancer is sometimes referred to as a silent killer because many women are initially misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late. The symptoms of the disease in the early stages can be confused with the symptoms of less serious conditions by doctors and other health care professionals. People in New Jersey might gain from learning a few facts about ovarian cancer.

First, every woman is at some risk of developing ovarian cancer. One in 75 actually will, and those with a history of cancer are at an increased risk. There are lifestyle choices that may lower the risk. They include giving birth; using birth control; and implementing a low-fat, healthy diet. Tubal ligation operations and preventative ovary removal surgeries also lower the risk.

Pap smears do not detect ovarian cancer. They may be used to help with the diagnosis of cervical cancer. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include belly pain, frequent urination, indigestion or nausea, shortness of breath, bloating, weight gain and back pain. Women who notice one or more of these symptoms should see a doctor if they last for a week or longer.

In its early stages, ovarian cancer is very treatable. The average five-year rate of survival for stage 1 ovarian cancer is 90 percent. The disease is considered stage 1 as long as it is only present in the ovaries and has not spread. People with ovarian cancer have a better chance of survival if treatment begins early.

If someone has cancer that is allowed to spread or goes untreated due to a misdiagnosis, he or she may be entitled to compensation. An attorney who is experienced with medical malpractice cases might assist someone by conducting depositions and otherwise gathering evidence in preparation for trial. A lawyer might be able to negotiate a settlement with at-fault parties and their insurers.

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