Gina DePalma

Famed pastry chef Gina DePalma, 49, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

DePalma was 41 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. 80% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are over age 50.

DePalma spent her final years educating other women about the risk factors of ovarian cancer.


The ovaries are 2 small almond shaped organs that sit on either side of the uterus. The ovaries release eggs (in women of childbearing age) and hormones that help prepare the uterus for childbirth every month.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

Women who began menstruating at an early age and begin menopause later are at slightly higher risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Also, women who are on hormone replacement, taking birth control pills or breastfeeding are at higher risk for ovarian cancer.

The risk of ovarian cancer decreases with each child a woman has.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Bloated or fullness in your tummy
  • Lower back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Feeling full quickly after a meal
  • Pain during sex
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • While many of these symptoms can also apply to other illnesses or disorders, you should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.

    This has been your Medical Minute

    More Info On the Web

    Ovarian Cancer – American Cancer Society

    Ovarian Cancer —

    Ovarian Cancer – WebMD

    Ovarian Cancer – Mayo Clinic

    Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for New York Magazine