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Dr. Nyongesa’s thoughts on ovarian cancer

May 8, 2024 #Kenya News, #News
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Every year, on May 8th, we unite globally to raise awareness and solidarity in the fight against ovarian cancer on World Ovarian Cancer Day.

The rallying cry “No woman left behind” signifies our unwavering dedication to ensuring that every woman, regardless of her background, economic status, or access to healthcare, receives the essential support, resources, and information needed for ovarian cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship.


Many of you may ask, What is ovarian cancer? Ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries, the female reproductive organs responsible for egg production, and can metastasize to other body parts if not detected and treated promptly. Its symptoms are often nonspecific, such as abdominal bloating, pelvic or abdominal discomfort, changes in appetite, frequent urination, and altered bowel habits.

Diagnosis typically involves a combination of physical examinations, imaging tests like ultrasound or CT scans, and blood tests like CA-125 levels, with a biopsy sometimes necessary for confirmation. Genetic testing is available for patients with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and it influences the available treatment choices.


Doctors can devise an effective treatment plan by categorizing the disease into stages I to IV based on its spread. The cancer’s stage, type, and the patient’s overall health determine the treatment options, which include surgery to excise the tumor and affected tissues, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and, in some cases, radiation therapy.

Symptom management, encompassing medication, nutritional support, pain relief, and counseling, is integral to the treatment process.
Patients may have opportunities to enroll in clinical trials, exploring innovative treatments and combinations. Emotional support through family, friends, healthcare providers, support groups, and counseling is crucial in coping with the diagnosis. Post-treatment, regular follow-ups, including physical exams, imaging, and blood tests, are vital for monitoring recurrence or complications. Various organizations offer information, advocacy, and support for ovarian cancer patients and their loved ones.


We, as healthcare professionals, must uphold the spirit of “No Woman Left Behind” by empowering our patients throughout their cancer journey, providing comprehensive care, and advocating for their needs and well-being.


Dr. Catherine NYONGESA IS A REPUTABLE ONCOLOGIST, FOUNDER, MD, AND CEO OF THE TEXAS CANCER CENTRE.

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