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Women mistake ovarian cancer for bloating

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Bloating might be a regular symptom for some women during menstruation, but they may not know it is the key symptom for ovarian cancer.

An article by The Sun went viral this month when it revealed that persistent bloating in women can actually be a sign of ovarian cancer. Women can also experience loss of appetite, fatigue, or weight loss, but one symptom that over shadows the others for this type of cancer is bloating.

Bloating is normal for women when they get their period which is why this symptom may be overlooked. Often times when women are not on their period they believe that it is something that they are eating, which causes them to switch their diets, when in reality it might be something far worse.

Emily Risk, a registered nurse at Skyline College’s Health Center, commented on what female students should do when they notice something is wrong with their bodies.

“It’s good to know your body is normal, if your normal is off, let’s say this bloating is happening,” said Risk. “And it’s not normal for you and is not going away it’s definitely recommend it to go and get some medical advice and see what’s causing it.”

Risk also adds that if nurses at the Health Center are feeling concerned about a student’s situation then they are quite up-front with the student and tell them that they need further examination. If a student does not have insurance, then the Health Center can help them find a place that is low cost like Planned Parenthood.

According to the American Cancer Society, they estimate about 22,240 women will receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer this year, and an estimate of 14,070 women will die from ovarian cancer in the U.S. They also state that 1 in 79 women have the risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime and the chance of dying from ovarian cancer is 1 in 108. The number of women being diagnosed has been slowly decreasing in the last 20 years.

When women feel bloated they tend to take matters into their own hands using home remedies or what they read online. Google seems to be the first place people go to find out what they have instead of going to their doctors and being diagnosed. According to Google Trends, the United States was in the top four countries with the most number of people to Google ovarian cancer. The two top searches were “Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer” and “Is Ovarian Cancer treatable”.

Alyna Perez, a cosmetology student at Skyline College, says that she has her own ways to deal with bloating.

“I drink a lot of water because supposedly it helps a lot in those type of situations,” said Perez. “I usually stick to home remedies when I know my body isn’t feeling well.”

Another student that prefers to use home remedies is Crystal Gonzalez, an early childhood education major.

“To help with the bloating, I usually drink a lot of water and sometimes I drink ginger tea because ginger helps reduce bloating,” said Gonzalez. “I have heard that ginger helps speed digestion.”

Skyline students have an advantage with having an accessible Health Center right on campus to help them with whatever they need.

“As a student here at Skyline I would recommend that you come to the health center first if that is convenient for you which it is convenient for most of our students,” said Risk. “Because you are already here and you can just pop in and see one of the nurses or nurse practitioner here.”

For more information or to set up an appointment Skyline students can call 650-738-4270 or visit the Health Center: Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon in building 2, Room 2-209.

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The student news site of Skyline College.
Women mistake ovarian cancer for bloating