By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – About 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year and the symptoms can be vague, like abdominal pain or bloating which makes the diagnosis challenging.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says we need to have a better understanding of ovarian cancer in order to improve diagnosis, treatment, and survival.

The report says one step is to see ovarian cancer not as a single disease but a collection of different types of cancer that usually start in the uterus or the Fallopian tubes.

Dr. Beth Karlan from Cedars Sinai Medical Center explains, “The ovary itself is such a fertile area for the cells to implant with lots of blood vessels and nutrients that they don’t actually begin on the ovary, but they actually metastasize to the ovary.”

The report also calls for more universal genetic testing for all women with ovarian cancer and their families.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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