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Historically ovarian cancer was called the “silent killer” because symptoms were not thought to develop until the chance of cure was poor. However, recent studies have shown this term is untrue and that the following symptoms are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population.


These symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist.

About Ovarian Cancer

Risk Factors

Genetics: An inherited mutation of the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 are responsible for about 10 to 15 percent of all ovarian cancers. Eastern European women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at higher risk of carrying BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Women of Hispanic heritage, including those from Colorado's San Luis Valley, are also at higher risk for carrying this mutation.

Increasing Age: A woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer is highest during her 60's and increases with age through her late 70's

Reproductive history and infertility: A woman is at increased risk if she started menstruating at an early age, has not given birth to any children. had her first child after 30, experienced menopause after 50, or has never taken oral contraceptives.

Hormone replacement therapy: Women who us menopausal hormone therapy are at an increased risk for ovarian cancer. Resent studies indicate that using a combination of estrogen and progestin for five or more years significantly increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Ten or more years of estrogen use increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women who have had a hysterectomy.

Obesity: A 2009 study found that obesity was associated with an almost 80 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer in women 50 to 71 who had not taken the hormones after menopause.

About Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance

The mission of the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA), is to promote awareness and early detection of ovarian cancer through advocacy and education while providing support to people In Colorado affected by ovarian cancer.


We work to: 

  • increase awareness of symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer in the general population in Colorado;

  • create and promote statewide resources that provide support, encourage networking, and provide information to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer;

  • unite and educate individuals, the medical community, and organizations to overcome ovarian cancer throughout Colorado;

  • advance ovarian cancer research toward better treatment, diagnosis and an eventual cure for the disease.

COCA was established in June 2005 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Our Board of Directors includes community leaders as well as ovarian cancer survivors, friends, and family of women who are survivors or who have lost their battles with this disease.

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