World Ovarian Cancer Day – May 8, 2023

World Ovarian Cancer Day is observed on May 8 every year. The day is observed worldwide to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and acknowledge the suffering of people with ovarian cancer and the efforts of their families. Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries and spreads to other organs, including the lungs, stomach, lymph nodes, and liver. Cancer is usually diagnosed when symptoms like pelvic pain, bloating, constipation, and loss of appetite are observed in patients. Ovarian cancer advocacy organizations use the day to raise their voices in solidarity with patients and work against ovarian cancer.

History of World Ovarian Cancer Day

World Ovarian Cancer Day is observed annually throughout the world on May 8. This observance aims to raise awareness as advocacy organizations, families, and patients come together to raise their voices against ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries and may present symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, poor appetite, constipation, and abdominal swelling. From the ovaries, cancer can spread to organs around the ovary like the lungs, stomach, and liver. People who have ovulated more in their lifetime are at higher risk of ovarian cancer. This includes people who started menstruating early in life, people who have not had children, or people who have delayed menopause.

Early symptoms of ovarian cancer are usually subtle, which leads to a long wait time before the disease is diagnosed. Doctors aim to eliminate other factors and potential causes before considering cancer, as screening may lead to a false positive and unnecessary surgery. The surgery comes with its own risks and is avoided unless consulting doctors believe with some measure of certainty that their patient could have ovarian cancer.

People with a family history of ovarian cancer are considered high risk and will usually be diagnosed faster than people considered relatively low risk. Treatment plans for ovarian cancer depend on the severity of the cancer and if it has spread to other organs. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are common treatment methods, and a combination of chemotherapy and surgery is recommended for most patients.

World Ovarian Cancer Day timeline

1809
First Recorded Removal of Ovarian Tumor

On Christmas Day, Jane Todd Crawford has an enormous tumor extracted from her ovary.

1872
Ovarian Tumor Origins Discovered

Sir Spencer Wells discovers that most ovarian tumors develop from a transformation of the surface layer of the ovary.

1981
Biomarker for Blood Test Discovered

Dr. Robert Bast discovers a biomarker to test for the blood protein CA-125 to identify ovarian cancer.

2020
More Biomarkers Discovered

Researchers at the Cancer Institute discover five additional biomarkers for ovarian cancer to support early diagnosis.

World Ovarian Cancer Day FAQs

Why is ovarian cancer important?

It is crucial to raise awareness of ovarian cancer because it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

Is ovarian cancer genetic?

Ovarian cancer is genetic, and people with a family history of ovarian cancer are considered at high risk.

Is ovarian cancer common in 30-year-olds?

Ovarian cancer is rare in people under 40 years as the risk increases depending on how much the person has ovulated.

How to Observe World Ovarian Cancer Day

  1. Check your medical history

    World Ovarian Cancer Day aims to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. If you are presenting any symptoms, check your medical history to see if you’re at risk for it and go for a check-up.

  2. Share information about the risk

    New information about the risk factors associated with ovarian cancer is available. Why not put together an information packet and share it with the people you know?

  3. Support a cancer patient

    If you know someone who has ovarian cancer, reach out and let them know they’re not alone. You can also help by supporting them, their families, or their support system with everyday tasks.

5 Important Facts About Ovarian Cancer

  1. The survival rate

    In America, most people diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of 49%, but this rate is lower in developing countries.

  2. Age is an important risk factor

    Delayed menopause and age are important risk factors concerning ovarian cancer, as several people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the median age of 63.

  3. It’s more common in America and Europe

    Deaths by ovarian cancer are more common in North America and Europe than in Asia or Africa.

  4. Know the odds

    The average person has a one in 78 chance of developing ovarian cancer.

  5. The rate of diagnosis has reduced

    According to the American Cancer Society, the diagnosis rate for ovarian cancer has reduced by 20%.

Why World Ovarian Cancer Day is Important

  1. It keeps people informed

    Ovarian cancer is dangerous and has very subtle symptoms. We must inform people to ensure they or their loved ones get treatment in time.

  2. It allows us to support patients

    People who have ovarian cancer need all the support they can get. On World Ovarian Cancer Day, we can help out and support them by raising our voices against ovarian cancer.

  3. The day encourages research

    Ovarian cancer is hard to diagnose, and late diagnosis affects the survival rate. This day allows us to support scientists to research more ways to diagnose ovarian cancer and catch it early.

World Ovarian Cancer Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 8Sunday
2023May 8Monday
2024May 8Wednesday
2025May 8Thursday
2026May 8Friday

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