Ovarian CancerOvaries are located in the pelvis on each side of the Uterus. They are present in a pair and are part of the female reproductive system. The size of an ovary is equivalent to that of an almond. Production of egg (ovum) and the female hormones is there main function. For fertilization one matured egg is released from either of the ovary during monthly menstrual cycles. The development of female characteristics like body shape, breasts, body hair etc is done by the female hormones produced by the ovaries. These hormones also regulate pregnancy and menstrual cycle.
What is Ovarian Cancer?Ovarian cancer is the carcinoma that starts in the ovaries. Among women it is the fifth most common cancer, and it is the cause of most deaths than any other type of female reproductive cancer. Women aged 55 or more have the highest incidence of deaths from ovarian cancer.
Causes of Ovarian CancerThe exact cause of the ovarian cancer is still unknown; factors which are considered to be highest risk causes for this type of cancer are enumerated below.
- The risk of developing cancer is higher, in higher aged women
- Certain gene defects namely BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Personal History of Breast Caner
- Family history of Breast or Ovarian cancer.
Ovarian Cancer SymptomsIf a female exhibits following symptoms on a daily basis for more than a few weeks, they are sometimes the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Digestive symptoms like Constipation, Indigestion, lack of appetite, Nauseas and vomiting.
- Swelling in abdomen.
- Back Pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vague lower abdominal discomfort
- Abrupt Weight gain or loss
- Excessive hair growth
- Increased urinary frequency or urgency
Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
- swelling in the abdomen may be revealed by a physical examination
- an ovarian or abdominal mass may be revealed by a Pelvic examination CA-125 blood test
- CT or MRI of the pelvis or abdomen
- Ultrasound of the pelvis
Ovarian Cancer Treatment
- Surgery: all stages of ovarian cancer can be treated by a surgical treatment. Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy Surgery is the procedure used for removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Chemotherapy: to treat any remaining disease after surgery Chemotherapy is generally is used. If the cancer comes back then also Chemotherapy can be used. Chemotherapy may be done in the veins or directly into the abdominal cavity (i.e. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy).
- Radiation therapy
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