On each side of the uterus, two ovaries are present. It is the size of an almond and produces ova or eggs in simple terms, along with the release of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. When a cancerous growth or a tumour grows in the outer lining (epithelium) of the ovary, it is known as ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer occurs in women who are aged above 65 years.
There are three types of tumour
Ovaries are made up of three kinds of cells and each kind is capable of developing different types of tumour.
Some tumours are non-cancerous and never spread beyond the ovary. Cancerous or ovarian tumours that are less malignant can metastasize to other body parts. The signs initially would be mistaken with premenstrual syndrome or poor bowel movement or a bladder problem, but if the problems are persistent then one must get an expert opinion. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected till it spreads within the abdomen or the pelvis.
Causes of ovarian cancer
Cancer develops when the cells of the body divide and multiplies in an unregulated manner. Mutations that are genetic like BRCA1 and BRCA2 can be the cause often or if an individual is diagnosed with any other type of cancer before like breast, colon or uterine. There is a higher risk of being affected by this type of cancer if the person had undergone fertility treatment or is suffering from infertility. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is another cause of this type of cancer. Experts say that longer the HRT, higher the risk. Women who are obese or are overweight has more chances of being affected. Endometriosis or the disorder in which the growth of the tissue occurs outside the uterus, in such a case the risk is 30% higher.
The signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer differ from one woman to another. Some of the symptoms given below might as well be non-cancerous because since the ovaries are situated near the intestines and bladder, it might be often mistaken to be symptoms of gastrointestinal issues. It is advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms are persistent.
Symptoms that occur at an early stage
Pelvic pain, Abdomen pain, Indigestion issues, Loss of appetite, Painful sexual intercourse, and Changed bowel movement are a few of the symptoms that occur during the early stages of the development of an Ovarian cancer.
Signs at a progressive stage
Loss of weight, Fatigue, Short of breath, and Nausea are the predominant symptoms when the Ovarian cancer has progressed more. Early diagnosis may lead to complete cure
Symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to that of ovarian cysts. These ovarian cysts are often non-malignant but women with such cysts have a higher risk of being affected by cancer. Ovarian cancer can begin silently and are often detected at a later stage. Thus any individual undergoing these symptoms can avail medical assistance for further diagnosis. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!