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356929 tn?1246389756

Younger patients

I've been wondering about this since I joined this forum in December -- I understand that like so many other cancers, the risk increases with age.However, most of the ladies(at least on this forum) are quite young.. premenopausal and a few menopausal.

My question is this: Is it just perhaps because older patients do not participate in forums such as this OR should doctors re evaluate their criteria for "age onset" of Ovarian Cancer ?? Maybe they should take more seriously those who come in with symptoms suggestive of Ovarian Cancer regardless of the age.. Which we've said all along but........

Just a ponder ....

Take care
Sandy
15 Responses
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408448 tn?1286883821
My type of ovca is more commonly diagnosed in women that are in their 40s to early 50s.(mucinous adenocarcinoma)  My mom was 51 and I was 46 at diagnosis. I do think that older women are less likely to use the internet. I also think that women in older generations are more private. I have been on here telling all about my female organs and even my rectal tumor and constipation!! I can't picture either of my grandmas doing that! Marie
Helpful - 0
282804 tn?1236833591
I have tried to get some of the women in the chemo room to come on medhelp, but they are not comfortable with the internet or with sharing with strangers.  Some of the really older women (late 60's-80's) don't even know very much about their condition.  They are still of the generation when the husband was expected to confer with the dr and than the husband would tell his wife what he thinks she should know. HONEST.  There is a lady at my oncs who is also the next door neighbor of one of my good friends and I have to be careful what I say around her.  The first time I started asking her questions about stuff her husband was behind her doing the hand across the neck thing so I quit.  Turns out she doesn't know much and doesn't want to know much so...

My mom was only 38 when she died from this so I think EVERY woman should be checked thouroughly whether she has a family history or meets the age requirement or not.  

MARIE:  That is too funny, and to true.  I can't imagine my Grandma talking about her butt or painful sex issues.  That would have tested the theory of whether or not you can literally die of embarassment.  I have already tested the "I could just jump out of my skin" theory and as it turns out, you can. LOL
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Avatar universal
I agree completely. I think that the older generations were taught not to talk about those specific parts of the body. I was too until all morals were stripped from me when I had uterine ca back in 2004, by the time I regained a few, there I was again with 3c ovca and the sheets being pulled up to look at places that were otherwise not looked at. I am 36 and was taught that those things were not to be discussed, now look at me!!! I was diagnosed with uterine ca when I was 34 and it was pretty late stage. I did not believe in seeing a gyn and only went when I was pregnant, never mind that my periods were extremely messy and painful! I went to onc faithfully after that, it scared me enough. When my appts were set to once every six months I ended up in the er thinking I had appendicitis, I sure didnt go to the doctor more than ABSOLUTELY necessary, even when I was at risk. My thoughts were lightning doesnt strike twice not at my age. I like to think of myself as "younger" but I am sure that women that the age range criteria fits is even more stuck in this thought pattern than I was, then would be darned if they so much as talk about it
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408448 tn?1286883821
When my grandma was diagnosed with cancer I had to tell all of her docs and the nurses on that floor not to use the word "cancer" at all. She told me she could not handle the "C" word, but understood she was not going to make it. She could not stand it after seeing her only child, my mom, die from ovca. Marie
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155056 tn?1333638688
I think that there are cancers that are more previlant in younger patients vs older ones.  This disease used to be elderly people....I can't help but wonder if the average age is changing do to enviromental effects....such as meat pumped up with hormones, etc.

There is a place on Long Island that is a hot spot for Breast Cancer, I was at an OvCa Awareness Day, and we had a sign up sheet for people that wanted more info....most of them already diagnosed, but, I would say that 7 out of 10 were from that same neighborhood....hmmmm....makes me wonder.

Pam
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408448 tn?1286883821
Same goes for prostate cancer for men. That used to so rare for younger men. Yes, I agree that there is a link between processed foods and pollution we breathe and drink that is causing more cancers. Marie
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Avatar universal
I have to admit I didn't think the average age on the forum was that much younger. I feel very young (32) on here in the 1% club. I would have guessed the average age of malignant OVCA group is still probably around 50 odd, but adding everyone who luckily ends in the 99% benign category (often younger women) the average on the forum over all may be down from the OVCA stats.

I wonder whether on top of environmental and food, whether the fact that the average age of having children is later might be a significant factor. The only reason we found my Stage 3 cancer was because I was investigating fertility issues. I just wish we'd somehow managed to have a family first............
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272338 tn?1252280404
  Sandy
    I have noticed the same thing and wondered myself. Do older women not spend as much time as we do on computers or is it becoming a more serious problem, affecting younger and younger women all of the time?
   Pam I have heard of that "hot spot" on Long Island. If I remember correctly, Rosie ODonnels mom lived there and died of breast cancer along with several other women that she knew in the same area.
   But when i stop to think, it is not just ov ca that is becoming more widespread, it seems that all forms of cancer are everywhere you look. I tend to lean towards environmental factors that we have no control over.
         Chris
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408448 tn?1286883821
Lymphomas are more common, too. In Peoria at least. My daughter's friend was recently diagnosed. She is only 40. Marie
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282804 tn?1236833591
When I was diagnosed and still, my onc and chemo nurses put me in with the younger patients.  Most of the ones I have chemo with are way older, but I was somewhat surpised by the last batch.  In 06 it seemed like it was all old women except me and my friend Camille.  In the 07-08 chemo there were a lot more younger women.  I don't know what the answer is.  My mom was 38 when she died of ovca and that was 1964.  Who knows?
Helpful - 0
167426 tn?1254086235
I can tell you from experience, at 78 people are always amazed that I have and use the computer. they hold senior citizen classes here in CR for learning the basics,  but it is rarely signed up for. I learned myself  by trial and error and by asking questions of the people I played cards with on the net,  As far as older women  having OVCA, Leslee meets up with quite a few at each chemo session. White haired grammas, bring their knitting and shopping bags, she tells me there is a group of them that go to the Mall right after each session.  Yes older women do have hang ups about sex and female problems, it is the way we were raised.  Sex was never discussed. Your periods were a deep dark secret, I knew nothing about comdums until I sat in a class in med school and they passed the things around.  I was  19. The few girls that got pregnant were shipped  out of town, and horribly shamed by those that found out. Boys were much more knowing  but girls were protected and ignorant.  I thought I was dieing when my first period started at school, because my Mom never told me anything.  but when they started having sex education in elementary school for the boys and girls separate, I ended up taking 6 4th grader girls to the presentation, 5 mothers called me , they were too embarassed to take their own daughters, this was 1967.  Times have indeed changed.  
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Avatar universal
Apparently sitting in front of a computer doesn't do much to avoid cancer either...plus tvs. fluorescent lights and the modern age we live in, with most of our everyday foods being tampered with. Milk with extra this and that added to it...bread, the same. No wonder more people are getting cancer... and they are younger now too. I recently sat next to a 20.y.o....having chemo, here she was sitting with her little bald head. Her life hasn't even started really, so it's just so sad.
I hope everyone is having a good day/night and feeling well...that's the main thing. Hugs...Helen...
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356929 tn?1246389756
Well, I guess it's all relative.. When I said "increases with age" I sort of meant over 65 . To me 50 IS young !! So I have to chuckle..-- all in good fun ---.

It just slays me when the TV comes on about an "elderly woman" having such and such happen .. and she's younger than I am !!!! But, I'm truly a believer in age being an attitude.  But what I meant was that OVCA being more common in older women.. and yet most of the gals on here are certainly not what I would call "older women".. Now when I was 32 , I guess they were.. As I say... it's all relative...

Again, all in good fun -- I'm not putting you down..
Sandy
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
As others said I think it is the computer literacy thing among other things.

The other point I notice is my mother (in her early 70s) implicitly trusts her medical caregivers.  She has no need to find further info because she believes every word they say. (that they give her less than adequate care is something she just won't contemplate - and believe me they do!)

My grandmother also died of this nasty little disease in the early 60s.  It was over 20 years before her sister (my great aunt) actually found out that she had died of ovarian cancer not the breast cancer she had earlier been successfully treated for.  Apparently she visited daily in the last month of my grandmothers life and they never discussed what was actually going on.  
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447161 tn?1262923084
This is really interesting discussion.

My mother in law (now 81 years old) has told me for years that after she had my husbands younger brother, because she had a hard labor, the doctor had put her to sleep and when she awoke told "Don't worry I have fixed you up now so you can't have anymore babies"!!  
She was 39 and had three children, so in those days your doctor was like your father, you just listened cause he knew best.  
Anyway she told me that they had performed a hysterectomy then, and has a horizontal scar to prove it.
Last year, she has had many health problems but was very incontinent and bloated, had back pain.....all those terrible symptoms, so I took her to the Gyno/Onc.

She had a 7cm cyst on one ovary and when he internally examined her he told her that her uterus was very bulky!!  Turns out she had never had a hysterectomy!!  So for all those years she had had pain, no cervical smear tests..nothing, because she had only, as far as we can work out, had her tubes tied!!  (obviously by huge incision)  The doctor was from so long ago and there were no notes.
To cut a long story short, they were VERY concerned about her symptoms and filled us in on what they thought was wrong, (considering age as well)  then she was scheduled for full hysterectomy a fortnight after seeing the Gyno.
Much to our delight she absolutely sailed through this huge op and all results came back benign.
She is a very strong lady, but goes to show that nothing was questioned back then.

Peace and love...Kim
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