SAN DIEGO, July 15, 2013 — The recent death of Charlotte Bronson, the 41-year-old adopted daughter of Pirece Brosnan, illustrates the critical need for research and awareness of ovarian cancer.
Charlotte’s mother Cassandra, Brosnan’s late wife, succumbed to ovarian cancer at age 43. Charlotte’s maternal grandmother also fell victim to ovarian cancer, demonstrating an undeniable family history of this disease.
According to Dr. Dennis Slamon, director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program, in an article published in People magazine, “You watch closely for patients who have a strong family history on the maternal or paternal side.” There are a variety of factors involved which help to assess your risk for ovarian cancer, and the American Cancer Society has suggested some of the following points to consider:
-Age. Half of all ovarian cancers are found in women 63 years of age or older.
-Obesity. Overall, it seems that obese women have a higher risk factor.
-Reproductive history. Women having a full-term pregnancy, and those who have breastfed, are likely at a lower risk.
-Birth control. There is a correlation between the use of certain contraceptives and a lower risk factor.
-Gynecological surgery. Tubal ligation and hysterectomy procedures, if medically indicated, appear to lower your risk.
-Fertility drugs. Some fertility drugs may increase your risk for ovarian cancer.
-Androgens. Use of hormone therapy and treatment for certain medical conditions, may pose an increased risk.
-Estrogen therapy and hormone therapy. Though considered a risk factor, the risk for ovarian cancer is less certain for women taking both estrogen and progesterone.
-Family history. Ovarian cancer risk is increased if your mother, sister, or daughter has ever had it or has it. However, it can also come from your father’s side of the family.
Discuss any family history of cancer with your doctor, ovarian cancer as well as other forms of cancer. There may be a link between ovarian cancer and other forms of familial cancer which could increase your chances of contracting this horrible disease.
There are a variety of tests, genetic and otherwise, which may be available for you to gain insight into your own risk factors, empowering you to determine the best preventive strategy.
Some of the American Cancer Society’s recommended preventive changes are practical, simple, and commonsense actions available to anyone. One of the most crucial is to stop smoking. Also, follow a diet which is low in fat, while consuming foods which are plant-based and whole grained.
When Charlotte Brosnan’s heroic battle against ovarian cancer was finally over, Pierce Brosnan was quoted shortly thereafter by Dr. Michele R. Berman in Celebrity Diagnosis magazine, “Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humility, courage and dignity. We pray for her and that the cure for this wretched disease will be close at hand soon.”
A fund was established in her name by the Entertainment Industry Foundation. To make a donation, go to www.eifoundation.org/charlottebrosnanfund. Donations are accepted and used in support of organizations which provide services to those stricken by ovarian cancer, and for research benefitting those women who are genetically predisposed to it.
Our health is one of our greatest gifts. Through awareness, education, and prevention there is the opportunity for empowerment, providing you with the greatest opportunity to live a long, healthy and productive life.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare
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