Intended care seeking for ovarian cancer symptoms among U.S. women (also ref to UK...) Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Intended care seeking for ovarian cancer symptoms among U.S. women (also ref to UK...)



open access

Abstract

To investigate U.S. women's intended care seeking for symptoms associated with ovarian cancer, data from the 2012 HealthStyles Fall survey of U.S. adults were examined. Analyses were limited to women with no history of gynecologic cancer (N = 1726). Logistic regression models for intended care seeking within 2 weeks of symptom onset were developed. A minority of women recognized that unexplained pelvic or abdominal pain (29.9%), unexplained bloating (18.1%), and feeling full after eating a small amount of food (10.1%) can indicate ovarian cancer, and 31.1% mistakenly believed that the Papanicolaou (Pap) test screens for the disease. In the multivariate regression models, the most consistent, significant predictors (p < 0.01) of intended care seeking within 2 weeks of symptom onset were age (older women were more likely to seek care) and awareness that symptoms could signal ovarian cancer. Care seeking in response to ovarian cancer symptoms may be delayed among younger women and those who do not recognize the potential significance of symptoms. Raising awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms may promote early detection. However, educational efforts should emphasize that symptoms associated with ovarian cancer may also result from benign conditions.

Introduction

Ovarian cancer causes more deaths in the United States than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Annually, more than 20,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and more than 14,000 die from the disease (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group, 2014). Treatment is most effective when ovarian cancer is found at an early stage. However, no population-based screening test is recommended for ovarian cancer detection, and most ovarian cancers are diagnosed at a late stage (Su et al., 2013).
While ovarian cancer has been widely referred to as a “silent killer,” symptoms commonly associated with the disease have been identified (Goff, 2012). Unfortunately, awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms among U.S. women is low....
eg. Unexplained bloating:
After several months
12.0%
I would probably not call or see a doctor
25.4%
Similarly, an analysis of UK women found low recognition of symptoms associated with ovarian cancer and variation in intention to seek care for these symptoms (Low et al., 2013). Conversely, in a study of Welsh women, ovarian cancer symptom awareness was not associated with delayed care seeking; however, respondents' awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms was much higher than in the current study (Brain et al., 2014).












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