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Ovarian Cancer Health Feed

Ovarian Cancer - How To Identify It?

Dr. Veena Bhat 90% (36 ratings)
MBBS, M.D Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Diploma in Gynecological Endoscopic Surgery
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Ovarian Cancer - How To Identify It?

Ovarian Cancer, as the name suggests, is cancer that affects the ovaries. It leads to the abnormal growth of cells, which eventually spreads over to other parts of a woman’s body, such as the stomach, uterus and vagina. The risk of ovarian cancer is greater in women who have experienced the process of ovulation many times in their lifetime. It also includes those women who attain menopause at a much later stage in their lives or those who start ovulation at an early age. The different types of tumors, which develop in ovarian cells are more often than not, benign or non-cancerous and do not spread beyond the ovaries.

Therefore, they can be easily treated by either removing a part or the whole of the ovary. But malign tumors have the ability to spread to other parts of the body and can prove to be fatal.

What are the causes of ovarian cancer

1. Family History: If someone in your close relation like mother, sister or daughter has developed ovarian cancer, then the risk of becoming susceptible to the disease also increases. If any of your close relatives have developed the disease earlier at a young age, then it’s quite likely that it was due to some inherited faulty gene. BCRA1 and BCRA2 are known to be the faulty genes that are connected to ovarian cancer.

2. Age: You become more susceptible to developing ovarian cancer at a postmenopausal stage.

3. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Women who go for hormone replacement therapy put themselves at a greater risk of developing the disease. Nevertheless, if you stop undergoing the sessions of HRT, your risk of suffering from this fatal condition eventually decreases.

4. Obesity/overweight: This is also one of the important factors behind the increased risks of developing ovarian cancer. So, the more obese you are, greater is the risk involved.

What are the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer?

1. Symptoms at an initial stage include pelvic or abdominal pain, postmenopausal vaginal bleeding or irregular menstruation.

2. Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly

3. Other typical symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, nausea or changes in bowel movements.

4. Feeling of mass pressure at your lower back or pelvis

Treatment available for it

Treatment for ovarian cancer generally consists of a combination of surgery and chemotherapy:

1. Surgery: Treatment usually entails removal of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes, including the surrounding lymph nodes as well as the fatty abdominal tissue, which often gets affected with ovarian cancer. This surgery may help you to retain the ability to conceive.

2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a procedure that follows surgery and is performed to destroy the remaining cancer cells, if any. Chemotherapy drugs are either inserted into your vein or directly into the abdominal cavity and if need be, into both.

1351 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - How To Handle It?

Dr. Chandrakanth Mv 90% (133 ratings)
MBBS, MD(General Medicine), Fellowship Hemato - Oncology (Hemat-Oncology), DM(Medical Oncology), DNB(Medical Oncology)
Oncologist, Howrah
Ovarian Cancer - How To Handle It?

Ovarian cancer is referred to as the cancer of the ovaries. The ovaries are a component of the female reproductive system. There are two ovaries located on either side of the uterus in a woman's body. Ovaries which are the organs responsible for producing egg cells also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which often goes undetected until it has spread all the way to the pelvis and the abdomen. However, it is also very difficult to treat the condition in its later stages which is why diagnosing ovarian cancer quickly is quintessential.

Here is everything you need to know about ovarian cancer-

Symptoms

1. No symptoms at first
Usually, in its early stages, ovarian cancer does not cause any symptoms.

2. Abnormal bloating
Bloating is when your abdomen swells due to excess fluid or gas inside. Abnormal bloating is more frequently associated with irritable bowel syndrome or even constipation is a common symptom of ovarian cancer.

3. Feeling full quickly
This is also an associated symptom which has often been mistaken for constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Weight loss
This is one of the more common signs of ovarian cancer.

5. Discomfort in the pelvis area
This symptom occurs towards the later stages of ovarian cancer after it has already spread.

6. Constipation
Constipation is a symptom of ovarian cancer as well.

7. Frequent urination
This is yet another symptom which is a sign of ovarian cancer.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken with that of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

Causes

As with other forms of cancer, it is still very unclear what exactly causes ovarian cancer.

Treatment

1. Surgery
Surgery most commonly involves removing large parts of the female reproductive system which includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus as well as the lymph nodes. The surgeon will also try and remove as many cancer cells as possible from the abdomen and pelvic areas.

2. Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is usually done after surgery. It is usually performed so that the rest of the cancer cells are killed off. Chemotherapy drugs can be injected directly into the vein, abdominal cavity or sometimes even both.

2625 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - Can Age Affect It?

Dr. Asha Gavade 88% (797 ratings)
DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Ovarian Cancer - Can Age Affect It?

The cancer of the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. In women, there are two ovaries present on each side of the uterus. These ovaries are as big as an almond in size and produce egg also known as ova. They also secrete the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

Ovarian cancer goes undetected until it spreads to the abdomen and pelvis. When detected at this stage then it might be fatal and the treatment gets difficult. An early-stage ovarian cancer where the cancer is restricted in the ovaries is much easier to treat with high success rates.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

1. Age - With increasing age the risk of ovarian cancer is higher and is more common in women who are 60 and above. It is less common in women below 40 years of age and develops often after menopause.
Obesity Women who have a body mass index of 30 are at a risk of developing ovarian cancer.

2. History of Reproduction - It is believed that women who conceive before 26 and carry the full term have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. However, the risk is higher in those women who get pregnant after 35 or who do not have a full term pregnancy. Also, breastfeeding the baby lowers the risk.

3. Gene Mutation - Inherited gene mutation causes some percentage of ovarian cancer. These genes are called breast cancer genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2). These were initially found in cases with breast cancer but also pose great risk for ovarian cancer. Also, gene mutation leading to Lynch syndrome plays an important role in increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.

4. Family History - If a woman's mother, sister or daughter is suffering from ovarian cancer then she is at a higher risk of developing the same. The risk also increases if someone from the father's side also has ovarian cancer.

5. Fertility Drugs - Drugs like clomiphene citrate, if used for more than a year can increase the risk of the cancer. The risk is even higher if a woman taking the drug does not get pregnant.

6. Hormone Therapy and Estrogen Therapy - Long term use and large doses of estrogen can cause an increased risk. However, if estrogen is used in combination with progesterone then the risk is less.

7. Age of menstruation and menopause - If menstruation starts before 12 and menopause occurs before 52 then there is a higher risk of getting the cancer.

8. Diet - A low fat vegetarian diet has less risk of the disease. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be included in diet along with pulses, rice, pasta, beans, cereals and breads.

1 person found this helpful

What Are The Signs Of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer?

Dr. Mridul Gehlot 90% (282 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fellowship in Gynae Oncology
Gynaecologist, Jaipur
What Are The Signs Of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer?

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer is a condition in which malignant tumor emerges from the tissue lining in the outer surface of the ovary. Epithelial tumors are usually benign, but this form of malignancy has been found to be the most common type of ovarian cancer. Moreover, it cannot be diagnosed until in its advanced stage. Medical research shows that factors such as multiple pregnancies, delayed childbirth and early menarche seem to raise the risk of ovarian cancer, while dietary and environmental factors also play a significant role in it.

Symptoms -
1. A majority of the patients have been observed to have extensive intra-abdominal growth.
2. They may experience discomfort or swelling of the abdominal region.
3. The feeling of being bloated, lack of appetite, unnatural weight alteration, dyspepsia, malaise, and urinary problems are frequently reported symptoms.
4. Patients also experience constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.

Treatment - 
The first step towards treatment of ovarian cancer is to diagnose the condition. A thorough pelvic examination (consisting of an examination of the vagina, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix) will help to pin point any abnormality of the ovary. If the doctor notes nodularity, firmness or lack of tenderness during the examination, these can be taken as symptoms of malignancy of epithelial ovarian tumors. Ultrasound examination of the abdominal region will also help to locate abnormality in the tissues on the outer surface of the ovary. The next logical step towards treatment is getting a biopsy. During this procedure, potentially malignant cells are removed and then diagnosed by a pathologist to conclude if the cells are cancerous or not. The process of removal is known as laparotomy.

Apart from a handful of stage one patients, most women with epithelial ovarian cancer receive chemotherapy. The standard treatment for this type of ovarian cancer is the surgical elimination of tumor. This includes total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgery in which the uterus and cervix are removed through an incision in the abdomen. Post-surgical treatment consists of taxane-platinum chemotherapy. Patients with minimal residual cancer undergo external radiation therapy or intraperitoneal chemotherapy (radioactive liquid is channeled into the abdomen with the help of a catheter).

A lot of research has been done in this field and a variety of clinical trials are available for a patient if he/she wishes to be a part of it. Leading methods are immunotherapy and targeted therapy are also available. Immunotherapy uses the immune system of the patient to battle cancer. Bodily substances or substances created in the lab are used to restore and boost the body’s natural defense mechanisms against cancer. Targeted therapy, on the other hand, uses substances to identify cancer and attack the malignant cells without jeopardizing non-cancerous cells.

1420 people found this helpful

BRCA Testing - Know Utility Of It!

Dr. Manish Bhatia 86% (45 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MCH - Oncology , MBBS
Oncologist, Pune
BRCA Testing - Know Utility Of It!

The incidences of breast and ovarian cancer are on a rise. A shocking survey reveals in India that 48% of women with breast cancer are below the age of 50 years. The reason could be a lot of factors including lack of awareness and a delay in the diagnosis of the condition. When it comes to breast and ovarian cancer, a particular diagnostic test that has gained immense popularity over the last few years is the BRCA (BRCA1 and BRCA2) gene test. In this article, we will discuss facts related to the BRCA gene test, including its merits.

What are the BRCA genes?

The BRCA1 gene comes under the class of genes known as Tumor Suppressor Gene (antioncogene). As indicative of the name, these genes are responsible for suppressing the formation of tumors by regulating the cell division and growth, as it ensures that cell does not undergo rapid and abnormal division and proliferation. The BRCA genes also undergo mutations and modifications some of which may be harmful enough to cause cancer.

BRCA Gene Test
An early detection of breast and ovarian cancer often produces fruitful results in the successful treatment of the disorder. In the majority of the cases, genetic mutations or modifications act as a catalyst resulting in the abnormal multiplication of cells that eventually gives rise to cancer. The BRCA1 and 2 (Breast Cancer genes 1 and 2) genes play a significant role in breast and ovarian cancer. Mutation in either one of the genes (or at times both) makes a woman highly susceptible to developing breast and ovarian cancer at some point in their lives (depending on how harmful the mutation is).

  • The BRCA gene mutation is inherited and can be passed on to the subsequent generations making the situation even worse.
  • BRCA1 gene mutation may also make a person susceptible to incidences of colon and prostate cancer.
  • The BRCA gene test is basically a blood test that is carried out to find if there are any mutations (often inherited) in the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene.

Benefits of BRCA gene test

  • Women who have a family history of breast cancer or show signs of breast or ovarian cancer are often advised to undergo the BRCA gene test.
  • The gene test keeps a woman updated about their health status, thereby enabling them to carry out the necessary preventive measures or treatment to deal with the condition better.
  • In fact, every woman after the age of 20 should undergo the BRCA gene test.

However, there are instances (though rare) where a woman did develop breast cancer in spite of testing negative for the BRCA test indicating others gene mutations can also lead to breast cancer. 

1286 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - What Can Affect It?

Dr. Mamtha Reddy Y.V 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fellowship in Minimal Lab Spine Surgery
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Ovarian Cancer - What Can Affect It?

The cancer of the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. In women, there are two ovaries present on each side of the uterus. These ovaries are as big as an almond in size and produce egg also known as ova. They also secrete the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

Ovarian cancer goes undetected until it spreads to the abdomen and pelvis. When detected at this stage then it might be fatal and the treatment gets difficult. An early-stage ovarian cancer where the cancer is restricted in the ovaries is much easier to treat with high success rates.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

1. Age - With increasing age the risk of ovarian cancer is higher and is more common in women who are 60 and above. It is less common in women below 40 years of age and develops often after menopause.

2. Obesity ​- Women who have a body mass index of 30 are at risk of developing ovarian cancer.

3. History of Reproduction - It is believed that women who conceive before 26 and carry the full term have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. However, the risk is higher in those women who get pregnant after 35 or who do not have a full term pregnancy. Also, breastfeeding the baby lowers the risk.

4. Gene Mutation - Inherited gene mutation causes some percentage of ovarian cancer. These genes are called breast cancer genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2). These were initially found in cases with breast cancer but also pose a great risk for ovarian cancer. Also, gene mutation leading to Lynch syndrome plays an important role in increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.

5. Family History - If a woman's mother, sister or daughter is suffering from ovarian cancer then she is at a higher risk of developing the same. The risk also increases if someone from the father's side also has ovarian cancer.

6. Fertility Drugs - Drugs like clomiphene citrate, if used for more than a year can increase the risk of cancer. The risk is even higher if a woman taking the drug does not get pregnant.

7. Hormone Therapy and Estrogen Therapy - Long term use and large doses of estrogen can cause an increased risk. However, if estrogen is used in combination with progesterone then the risk is less.

8. Age of menstruation and menopause - If menstruation starts before 12 and menopause occurs before 52 then there is a higher risk of getting cancer.

9. Diet - A low fat vegetarian diet has less risk of the disease. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be included in diet along with pulses, rice, pasta, beans, cereals and breads.

1962 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - How To Diagnose It?

Dr. Monika Chauhan 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Ovarian Cancer - How To Diagnose It?

Ovarian cancer occurs when there is a formation of tumor in the ovarian cells. This kind of cancer basically happens in the cells of the ovaries, which are responsible for the production of estrogen and progesterone the two female hormones. The ovaries themselves are the reproductive glands that produce and release eggs. When abnormal cells in these glands begin to grow and multiply, then a tumor begins to manifest, which leads to cancer. Let us find out more about ovarian cancer, including its early diagnosis.

Detecting Early Signs: The problem with this kind of cancer is that it produces vague symptoms at the beginning, which may be easy to dismiss. Yet, as per many medical reports, about 20% of the cases may be detected in the early stages, depending on the kind of cancer.

Symptoms and Early Signs: The earliest signs of this kind of cancer include bloating in the abdomen, as well as a feeling of excessive fullness after each and every meal. Many people tend to ignore such signs, but they must be reported to a doctor in case these signs are persistent and do not go away after a few days. Gradually, the patient will also show signs like lack of appetite and a failure to eat and retain food properly. An increase in the urge to urinate is also an early sign that must not be ignored.

Other Signs and Symptoms: As cancer progresses, other signs and symptoms of the condition include indigestion, unexplained fatigue, irregular menstrual cycles, pain during sexual intercourse and back pain as well as constipation. While these symptoms may occur due to a number of reasons, it is best to have the same checked by a doctor so that proper diagnosis may take place and cancer may be ruled out.

Diagnosis: For the earliest signs of the disease, the doctor will prescribe an ultrasound and an X-ray. These tests will help in creating an image of the internal organs that may have been affected. Also, CT and MRI scans will usually follow in such cases. Routine lab tests will also be conducted with the help of blood and urine samples.

Pap Smear: One of the best ways of early diagnosis is with the help of a regular Pap Smear test. This test is usually taken by extracting a sample from the vaginal area so that the doctor may study any growth or anomalies in the cervical and ovarian cells. One must have this test done on a regular basis after going through childbirth and even after reaching one’s thirties, so that any change may be detected at the earliest. It is said that every woman must go through this test annually as a matter of priority.

1340 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - Who Are At Risks?

Dr. Sameer Pahlajani 88% (11 ratings)
MBBS
IVF Specialist, Raipur
Ovarian Cancer - Who Are At Risks?

The cancer of the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. In women, there are two ovaries present on each side of the uterus. These ovaries are as big as an almond in size and produce egg also known as ova. They also secrete the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

Ovarian cancer goes undetected until it spreads to the abdomen and pelvis. When detected at this stage then it might be fatal and the treatment gets difficult. An early-stage ovarian cancer where the cancer is restricted in the ovaries is much easier to treat with high success rates.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

1. Age - With increasing age the risk of ovarian cancer is higher and is more common in women who are 60 and above. It is less common in women below 40 years of age and develops often after menopause.

2. Obesity -Women who have a body mass index of 30 are at risk of developing ovarian cancer.

3. History of Reproduction - It is believed that women who conceive before 26 and carry the full term have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. However, the risk is higher in those women who get pregnant after 35 or who do not have a full term pregnancy. Also, breastfeeding the baby lowers the risk.

4. Gene Mutation - Inherited gene mutation causes some percentage of ovarian cancer. These genes are called breast cancer genes 1 and 2 (BRCA1 and BRCA2). These were initially found in cases with breast cancer but also pose a great risk for ovarian cancer. Also, gene mutation leading to Lynch syndrome plays an important role in increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.

5. Family History - If a woman's mother, sister or daughter is suffering from ovarian cancer then she is at a higher risk of developing the same. The risk also increases if someone from the father's side also has ovarian cancer.

6. Fertility Drugs - Drugs like clomiphene citrate, if used for more than a year can increase the risk of cancer. The risk is even higher if a woman taking the drug does not get pregnant.

7. Hormone Therapy and Estrogen Therapy - Long term use and large doses of estrogen can cause an increased risk. However, if estrogen is used in combination with progesterone then the risk is less.

8. Age of menstruation and menopause - If menstruation starts before 12 and menopause occurs before 52 then there is a higher risk of getting cancer.

9. Diet - A low-fat vegetarian diet has less risk of the disease. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be included in diet along with pulses, rice, pasta, beans, cereals and bread.

4678 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cysts - 3 Ways They Can Be Treated!

Indira Ivf 86% (51 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
IVF Specialist, Udaipur
Ovarian Cysts - 3 Ways They Can Be Treated!

Ovarian cysts are a common development in many women. Cysts are sacs filled with fluid which are formed in the female ovaries. Most cysts are harmless and do not even show any symptoms. However, some cysts do show outward symptoms like heavy bleeding, clotting, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain during the menstrual cycle, and pain during sex.

If you feel any of the above-mentioned discomforts, it will be in your best interest to book an appointment with your gynaecologist and get a check-up done. Most cysts are manageable unless they are very severe. In fact, it is best that cysts come to light at the right time and are efficiently managed, unless they develop into severe issues in the future.

Management of cysts

  1. Oftentimes, medical practitioners resort to what is called ‘watchful waiting’.
  2. At times, ovarian cysts disappear in a few months.
  3. It is recommended to take a blood test and an ultrasound to see the progress of the cyst.
  4. If you have already experienced menopause, then these tests are carried out every four months. This is because in such cases the risk of an ovarian cancer is at its highest and regular monitoring of the cyst is necessary.

Treatment of cysts

Ovarian cysts can be treated in their earlier stages. Here are some of the most popular treatments.

  1. Laparoscopy is one of the most popular treatments - It is a surgery carried out under general anaesthesia. The tummy is cut to a radius of a key hole and a laparoscope is inserted. This helps the doctor to see the internal organs, which is then used to remove the cyst. This method is less painful and has a quick recovery time.
  2. Laparotomy is the other method used for removing a cyst - In case the cyst is large, then one single large hole is made in the body to access the cyst. At times, the cyst and the ovaries are removed and sent for further laboratory inspection. This inspection is done to detect whether the samples are cancerous or not. This procedure is more complex than the previous one and might need the patient to stay in the hospital for a few days.
  3. In case you have a cancerous cyst, then your reproductive part itself would have to be removed rendering you barren for your life.

Ovarian cyst is very much treatable and is best to be detected at an earlier stage for better and faster treatment. Thus, it is best to go for regular check-ups and report in case of any disturbing symptoms.
 

5888 people found this helpful

Ovarian Cancer - All You Should Know About It!

MCh (Surgical Oncology, MBBS
Oncologist, Guwahati
Ovarian Cancer - All You Should Know About It!

Ovarian cancer is referred to as the cancer of the ovaries. The ovaries are a component of the female reproductive system. There are two ovaries located on either side of the uterus in a woman's body. Ovaries which are the organs responsible for producing egg cells also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which often goes undetected until it has spread all the way to the pelvis and the abdomen. However, it is also very difficult to treat the condition in its later stages which is why diagnosing ovarian cancer quickly is quintessential. Here is everything you need to know about ovarian cancer;

Symptoms:

  1. No symptoms at first: Usually, in its early stages ovarian cancer does not cause any symptoms.
  2. Abnormal bloating: Bloating is when your abdomen swells due to excess fluid or gas inside. Abnormal bloating is more frequently associated with irritable bowel syndrome or even constipation is a common symptom of ovarian cancer.
  3. Feeling full quickly: This is also an associated symptom which has often been mistaken for constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
  4. Weight loss: This is one of the more common signs of ovarian cancer.
  5. Discomfort in the pelvis area: This symptom occurs towards the later stages of ovarian cancer after it has already spread.
  6. Constipation: Constipation is a symptom of ovarian cancer as well.
  7. Frequent urination: This is yet another symptom which is a sign of ovarian cancer.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken with that of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

Causes: As with other forms of cancer, it is still very unclear what exactly causes ovarian cancer.

Treatment:

  1. SurgerySurgery most commonly involves removing large parts of the female reproductive system which includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus as well as the lymph nodes. The surgeon will also try and remove as many cancer cells as possible from the abdomen and pelvic areas.
  2. ChemotherapyChemotherapy is usually done after surgery. It is usually performed so that the rest of the cancer cells are killed off. Chemotherapy drugs can be injected directly into the vein, abdominal cavity or sometimes even both.
2355 people found this helpful
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