Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: It’s time for ovary-action

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in Australia, and 2021 marks its 20th anniversary, an important milestone for Ovarian Cancer Australia, who support women through a diagnosis, raise the profile of ovarian cancer in the community and contribute to vital research.

Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Symptoms vary widely and can be similar to many common conditions; by the time most women receive a diagnosis the cancer is well established and difficult to treat. Unlike breast cancer or bowel cancer, there is currently no effective screening for ovarian cancer, making early detection even more difficult.

We have options

All hope is not lost! Those who know they are at increased risk can access proactive, preventative medication or surgery, which in many cases can almost eliminate their risk.

For most women, age is their biggest risk factor – the average age of diagnosis is 64; but up to 20% of ovarian cancer diagnoses are due to an inherited genetic risk, even when there’s no family history. 

There’s power in knowing

Our proactive cancer risk test contains 61 genes, 11 of which are known to increase ovarian cancer risk in women. This, combined with age and other factors, combine to inform the overall risk of cancer. Knowing whether you have an increased risk, particularly an inherited genetic risk, gives you the power to take action early to prevent this difficult disease. 

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month also coincides with World Cancer Day, held on February 4 each year. This year’s theme is #IAmAndIWill. This message resonates strongly with the Eugene ethos, and for our clients: I AM empowered through knowledge and I WILL take action to understand my health.

Learn more about how Eugene’s at-home cancer risk test can help you understand your risk so you can take preventive action.

Written by
Stephanie Groube

Stephanie is a genetic counsellor who joined Eugene in September 2019. Prior to working at Eugene, Stephanie has had 5 years clinical experience in both the public and private sector, in WA, Tas and Vic. She has a background in general and prenatal genetics, but has spent most of her time working in familial cancer, supporting people and families to understand their inherited cancer risk often in the context of a recent cancer diagnosis.

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