#SaveMayowa: These are the things you should know about ovarian cancer (READ)


In less than 3 days, Nigerians came together to donate over N85 million for the treatment of a stage 4 ovarian cancer patient, Mayowa Ahmed.

The donations made for Mayowa’s treatment were driven by a social media campaign tagged #SaveMayowa.

A whirlpool of controversy was stirred up after it was alleged that the campaign was initiated by the family of the patient to garner public sympathy and fraudulently obtain money from the public.

YNaija is closely monitoring the situation meanwhile, here are 5 things to know about the deadly ovarian cancer.

  • Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer and each one is grouped by the type of cell that is initially attacked.
  • Ovarian cancer is any cancerous growth that may occur in different parts of the ovary. The majority of ovarian cancer however,  stem from the epithelium (outer lining) of the ovary.
  • According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women in the world.
  • Early detection of ovarian cancer is in most cases unlikely as it is often difficult to diagnose because it can grow into the stomach, colon and liver without being noticed.
  • Ovarian cancer often has no symptoms at the early stages, so the disease is generally advanced when it is diagnosed.
  • In the rare cases of early detection of the cancerous tumor, it responds well to chemotherapy.
  • According to an Oxford University Professor, Ahmed Ahmed, “Ovarian cancer can be undetectable for up to four years and only a third of people with the cancer get an early diagnosis.”
  • Over 239,000 cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed in 2012 alone.
  • Over 140,000 women die yearly from ovarian cancer.
  • Recently, scientists discovered an enzyme called SIK2 which helps the cancer spread through the body.
  • This enzyme is believed to be complicit in the attack on the body by the cancer.
  • The discovery of the enzyme leads scientists to believe that a simple protein test can be used to easily detect an ovarian tumor before it becomes cancerous.
  • According to researchers, levels of a protein, SOX2 – become much higher in the fallopian tube of a patient with ovarian cancer.
  • The new discovery also gives a glimmer of hope in the world quest to beat the deadly disease.
  • Early-stage ovarian cancer can cause some of the following symptoms:
    -Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
    -Pelvic or abdominal pain as well as urinary symptoms which most times would be the patient’s urge to pee more frequently.
  • A woman is advised to see her doctor immediately, preferably a gynecologist if these symptoms persist for up to 12 times in a month.
  • According to World Cancer Research Fund International, about 58% of ovarian cancer cases occurred in less developed countries.
  • Also, the lowest occurrence of the cancer has been in Africa and Asia while North America and Europe have recorded more patients.
  • May 8th, 2013 was the first World Ovarian Cancer Day.

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