Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cancer-related cause of death in women. Two thirds of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 55 years or older, however it can also happen in younger women. Risk factors include family history and presence of BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene mutation, first degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer, obesity and absence of pregnancies/birth through life. Overall 5-year survival is about 40%, and that increases to about 94% for 15% of women who present with local early stage disease.
One of the biggest problems with ovarian cancer is that most patients are diagnosed when the disease has already metastasized to the peritoneal cavity or other organs. You might have heard of CA-125 as a blood marker for ovarian cancer, however this marker is neither sensitive nor specific for ovarian cancer. This implies that CA-125 is also raised in women experiencing other diseases or even during pregnancy. Since currently there are no effective screening tests, noticing symptoms is very important — in fact it can be life saving.
What are some of the symptoms that you should look out for when it comes to ovarian cancer?
Abdominal distention, abdominal bloating, urinary frequency and excessive burping are some of the most important symptoms to be on the lookout for.
As you can see, these symptoms are common and can be present in a variety of different conditions. This is why it is important to work with a skilled doctor who can tease out the origins of these symptoms in your specific case. A doctor who is willing to spend the time to thoroughly assess your case and look at a comprehensive set of labs and markers to get to the bottom of why you’re having these symptoms is crucial.
Regardless of the diagnosis, the best place to always start is with lifestyle. Lifestyle modifications and improvements are the cornerstones of every single treatment plan. Without those on board, we can never get to the root cause of your health issues. Lifestyle changes go way beyond just your diet!
Lifestyle medicine is the therapeutic use of lifestyle interventions to prevent, treat and reverse disease. These interventions include the use of optimized nutrition, adequate hydration, restorative sleep, daily physical activity, reducing environmental toxic exposure, stress management and healthy fulfilling relationships. Improving any of these areas will enhance your overall health, however the best results come when you stack up these positive changes. At Conscious Human Medicine, we work with you in making these lifestyle improvements in a manner that would not overwhelm you. In fact, you’ll enjoy the process because you’re also embarking on a journey of learning about your body.
Metabolic health is paramount in any cancer conversation. Fasting insulin level is now being looked at as a nonspecific cancer marker. Insulin resistance and high levels of insulin are associated with metabolic diseases such as diabetes type-II, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, hormonal issues, infertility, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and more. These are mainly diseases of lifestyle — all the factors that were mentioned above play a role in development of metabolic dysregulation and imbalance. The good news is that you have the power to change that. Establishing your metabolic health is one of our main priorities at Conscious Human Medicine. We believe that by improving insulin sensitivity and your metabolic health, it can dramatically improve your outcomes in fighting ovarian cancer.
Targeted supplementation is another amazing tool that can aid you in your journey back to health. You might be one of the many people with a few opened, but mainly unused, bottles of multivitamins inside your cabinets. However, there is a big difference between the use of high quality supplements selected based on your current needs and health concerns and a low quality multivitamin. At Conscious Human Medicine, we carefully design a treatment protocol for you that includes supplements which can improve nutrition deficiencies, boost energy levels, as well as aid in recovery from side-effects of potential treatments that you might be going through such as chemotherapy and radiation.
High dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) is another gem of a treatment that many don’t know about. IVC has been shown to eradicate cancer cells, improve quality of life and extend life in patients with cancer. High dose IVC has also been shown to greatly mitigate many of the unwanted side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and actually may make chemotherapy more effective. High-dose IVC has been demonstrated in clinical research to benefit many different types of cancer including ovarian cancer, glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer. At Conscious Human Medicine, we offer IVC along with a number of other intravenous nutritional therapies to not only address the cancer, but also to enhance your quality of life.
And there is much beyond what we’ve discussed that can be explored – not just to improve your physical health but also your mental and emotional wellbeing. The beauty of the type of care that we provide for you, even with a serious diagnosis such as ovarian cancer, is that although it’s evidence-based and effective, it’s also personalized to your case and to your needs.
We look forward to being a part of your healthcare team!