When he was four years old, John Bagosy unfortunately lost his mother to ovarian cancer. A formative experience, he now honors his mother by supporting ovarian cancer awareness and research initiatives.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a disease that begins to develop in a woman’s ovaries and inevitably metastasizes, or spreads to other regions of the body in advanced stages. The process is often initially asymptomatic, leading many women to be misdiagnosed or simply not diagnosed with any condition at all during the early stages of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the disease, which a cause is not currently understood, warning signs are often mistaken for more benign conditions.
Increased Risk Factors
There are a variety of factors that are believed to increase the likelihood of a woman developing ovarian cancer. While a direct cause has yet to be clarified, the following risk factors have been identified and outlined by the Cancer Society:
- Aging, including experiencing the menopause process. Women over the age of 63 are more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, though it is also experienced by women 40 years old and older.
- Obesity, which is considered to be a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
- Never carrying a pregnancy to term or giving birth after the age of 35.
- Family history of certain illnesses, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Cancer syndromes, such as family cancer syndrome and Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC).
While connections between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder have been made in recent years, there are still more factors to be considered. The fact that the cause of ovarian cancer is not yet known motivates John Bagosy to support causes that directly focus on research. Bagosy is also an advocate for prevention through education, an idea proactively echoed by the cancer societies and nonprofits. In the future, he hopes to work directly with nonprofits that focus specifically on educating young women about the warning signs and risk factors for ovarian cancer. Knowledge is power and information may be just what someone needs to prevent a battle with a debilitating disease or other health problems.