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Letter: Angelina Jolie raises awareness of ovarian cancer

Actress Angelina Jolie poses for photographers upon arrival

Actress Angelina Jolie poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Unbroken in London, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Credit: AP / Joel Ryan

Angelina Jolie announcement that she had her ovaries removed to avoid a 50-50 chance of ovarian cancer raises much-needed awareness about this disease ["Prevention praised," News, March 25].

Not mentioned was information about ovarian cancer symptoms, which are often confused with other conditions. Women and doctors need to be aware of these symptoms to detect the disease as early as possible.

Ovarian cancer symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, and urgent or frequent need to urinate. Symptoms also can include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, constipation, pain with intercourse and menstrual irregularities.

Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than two weeks should see a gynecologist and ask for the disease to be ruled out. Because there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer, it is vital for people to report symptoms early.

Jacqueline Reinhard, Manhattan

Editor's note: The writer is executive director of Share, an organization that offers support for women with breast and ovarian cancers.


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