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Advice on ovarian cancer

Although more than a dozen symptoms are related to ovarian cancer, four have been found to occur much more frequently in women with the disease than in those without it.

Those four also tend to arise suddenly, persist and become severe:

- Bloating

- Pelvic or abdominal pain

- Difficulty eating, or feeling full quickly

- Urinary urgency or frequency

Women who experience any of the above almost daily for more than few weeks are urged to see a gynecologist for a pelvic exam.

Follow-up with a CA125 blood test and a pelvic ultrasound may be warranted.

SOURCE: Consensus statement of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and the American Cancer Society (www.sgo.org)

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HORMONE THERAPY

Researchers reported last week that a new analysis of the landmark federal study of menopausal hormone therapy had found a small heart benefit for women in their 50s who had hysterectomies and took estrogen without progesterone.

Women in that subgroup had less plaque build-up in their arteries than women taking placebos.

But hormone therapy recommendations are still studded with caveats.

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