Gynecological cancer is any tumor that begins in a woman’s reproductive organs. Cancer is usually named after the part of the body where it begins. Gynecologic cancer starts in different areas within a woman’s pelvis, which is the territory beneath the stomach and in the middle of the hipbones. There are different types of gynecological cancers and these are as follows:
Signs and symptoms of the above-mentioned gynecologic cancers can be very vague; however, there are a few issues each lady needs to know about and look for. The following are some of the common symptoms of different gynecological cancer:
A large portion of the symptoms connected with gynecologic cancers may occur due to other reasons every once in a while, which may make us ignore them. It is vital to be tuned into your body and pay consideration on any progressions. In case you see new side effects that are happening every day for more than a couple of weeks, this can be an indication of gynecological cancer. Try not to worry. Make sure to go for regular check-ups at your gynecologist.
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:
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.
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.
As with other forms of cancer, it is still very unclear what exactly causes ovarian cancer.
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.
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.
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
Treatment of cysts
Ovarian cysts can be treated in their earlier stages. Here are some of the most popular treatments.
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.
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.
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.
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 is 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 channelled 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 defence mechanisms against cancer. Targeted therapy, on the other hand, uses substances to identify the cancer and attack the malignant cells without jeopardizing non-cancerous cells.
Amongst the different types of gynecological cancers prevalent today, ovarian cancer is associated with the highest rate of fatality. This type of cancer refers to tumours that grow in the ovaries. In most cases, these develop on the outer lining or epithelium of the ovary. Though this type of cancer is difficult to treat in its later stages, if diagnosed early enough it can be easily managed.
In the early stages of ovarian cancer, very few symptoms may be present. Many women do not experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms that may be experienced can be associated with other conditions and hence often go unrecognized. However, in the case of ovarian cancer, these symptoms will gradually increase and worsen with time. Some of the early symptoms of ovarian cancer could include:
Ovarian cancers affect usually after the age of 65 years, but offlate its also prevalent in younger age in third decade and fourth decade aged ladies. Women with a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer have a higher risk of developing these tumours. Endometriosis and hormone replacement therapy could also increase one’s risk of ovarian cancer.
As with other types of cancer, treatment for ovarian cancer depends largely on how far it has advanced. The main forms of treatment include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery is usually the first step of treating ovarian cancer. This involves a partial or complete hysterectomy. In the former, only one ovary and the adjoining fallopian tube is removed while in the latter both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus are removed. The lymph nodes around the reproductive system and the fatty tissue in the abdomen may also be removed. In cases of advanced ovarian cancer, surgery may also include removing cancerous cells from the urinary system, intestines and spleen.
Surgery is usually followed by chemotherapy, medication for targeted therapy or hormone therapy. Radiation is rarely used to treat ovarian cancer. In addition, many patients also require counselling to cope with body change issues and the loss of sexual desire. Ovarian cancer can recur and hence it is also important to get regularly screened for any signs of recurrent tumours. In cases of recurrent cancer, chemotherapy is the most preferred form of treatment.
Ovarian cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled and rapid cell division and proliferation that develops in the ovary and its associated cells and tissues. There was a time when ovarian cancer detected at a later stage was almost untreatable. However, with latest pathbreaking discoveries, the situation has undergone a drastic improvement.
Types of ovarian cancer
While ovarian cancer can be of different types, three major types of ovarian cancer include - Epithelial ovarian cancer, Stromal ovarian cancers, and Germ cell ovarian cancers.
Unfortunately, in most of the cases, the early stages of ovarian cancer are asymptomatic. The symptoms usually appear as cancer progresses to the advanced stages making the condition almost untreatable. However, some of the warning signs that should be medically examined and investigated include
Who are at a risk of suffering from ovarian cancer?
Latest breakthroughs related to ovarian cancer
Of late there have been some commendable breakthroughs and inventions that can increase the effectiveness of ovarian cancer treatment by many folds.
One such breakthrough is the discovery of a drug ONX-0801. The drug which is found to mimic folic acid (to gain access to the cell) works by blocking the activity of Thymidylate Synthase. The London’s Royal Marsden Hospital carried out a trial run of the drug ONX-0801 on 10 women with ovarian cancer. The results were truly encouraging. The drug was found to shrink the size of the malignant tumor in around 7 women. However, research is being carried out to enhance the effectiveness of the drug further. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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;
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.
All women have two ovaries located on either side of the uterus. They are fundamental for the process of child birth. However ovarian cysts have emerged as major problems which most women suffer from. In this, small pockets filled with fluids develop on the surface or within the ovaries. Though they are generally harmless, often times disappearing without any treatment, they do have the potential to create complications during child birth. Treatment of ovarian cysts depends on the size and the quantity of the cysts.
Some of the treatments available are-
1. Patience and a careful watch
In case medical examinations reveal tiny cysts, patience can be the key word. If you did not suffer from perceptible symptoms and the cysts were revealed only through tests, you must follow it with regular visits to the doctor. Few medications and regular ultrasound examinations are all you need in such a case.
Birth control pills or contraceptives may be sometimes prescribed to you as possible medications to treat the cysts. Regular administering of these medicines deters the possibility of further development of cysts. They also benefit greatly in reducing the possibilities of suffering from ovarian cancer in the future.
In case the tests reveal large cysts, operations or surgical removal of them may be the only possible solution. Operations are generally suggested if the cysts have persisted for a long time and are accompanied by terrible pain in the lower abdomen.
4. Ovarian cystectomy
This is performed when the ovaries are kept intact and only the cysts are carefully removed.
In this form of surgery, only the ovary that is affected with the cysts is removed, while the other is kept intact. Both the ovaries might also have to be surgically removed if they are found to be affected.
6. Hysterectomy and subsequent removal of fallopian tubes and uterus
This is done when the cysts developed have the potential of becoming cancer us. In such a situation, an extreme measure is adopted with the complete removal of the ovaries along with the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is done in order to prevent the subsequent spreading of cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cancer is that word that many people dread to hear, yet it is a real scourge and can have deadly effects. One such type of cancer is ovarian cancer, which claims countless lives in India every year, yet is not talked about because of social taboos. Because cancer cells are regular cells whose growth is uncontrolled, it is important to know what ovarian cancer is, what causes it, and how to prevent it.
Ovarian cancer is cancer of the ovarian cells. Ovaries are the reproductive glands containing eggs, which only women have. Women usually have one ovary on each side, and the ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which is necessary for ovulation and pregnancy to occur. Three different cells comprise the ovaries, all of which can develop cancerous (malignant), and non-cancerous (benign) tumors. The cells covering the ovarian walls are called epithelial cells, which can become cancerous - most types of ovarian cancer are epithelial. Germ cell cancer grows in the cells producing the eggs, and stomural cancer grows in the cells that hold the ovaries together and produce reproductive hormones.
The good news is that in the majority of cases, the tumors are benign and never spread (metastize). These tumors are non cancerous and can easily be removed. Malignant tumors, however, are cancerous. These can, and often times, do spread to other parts of the body (metastize) and can kill the women having them.
A risk factor is any action people take to increase their likelihood of getting a certain type of cancer. With ovarian cancer, age is a big factor, with older women more likely to develop this type of cancer than younger women. Ovarian cases are rare in women under age 40, with the bulk of patients being post-menopausal. About 50% of ovarian cancer cases are in women who are 63 or older.
More obese women (those with a BMI of 30 or higher) are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than skinnier women. Women who had a successful pregnancy before age 26 are less likely to develop ovarian cancer. By contrast, women who had their first kid after age 35, or who have never had children, are more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Also, while there is no direct correlation, there is thought to be a link between breastfeeding and lower rates of ovarian cancer.
Women who use oral contraceptives have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. The risk lowers dramatically after 3-6 months of using the pills, and remains low long after the pills are taken, or even stopped.
Also, getting a tubal ligation, or having a hysterectomy lowers the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
While there is no known cause of ovarian cancer, certain women carrying the BRCA1 and 2 genes will develop ovarian cancer, so it can be genetic.
Most women only have one risk factor for ovarian cancer, which in itself is not significant. However, since no woman wants to develop this type of potentially deadly cancer, she needs to know how to prevent it. Taking oral contraceptives for a long period of time has been shown to lower the risk of ovarian cancer. Tubal ligation has also shown a decreased risk.
While there is no one magic bullet for completely preventing ovarian cancer, lifestyle choices can definitely mitigate one’s risk of developing this dangerous cancer. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Ovaries are small structures present in the lower part of abdomen adjacent to the uterus. Cancers arising from ovaries can be of different types:
Germ cell type (these cancers arise from cells that produce ova or cells that grow into the new born upon fertilization), epithelial (these arise from the outer lining of the ovaries) and others (multiple types from remaining tissue in ovaries).
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the commonest type of ovarian cancers and is also the one associated with high fatality. High fatality is related to the aggressive behaviour of cancer but is also due to the fact that majority of epithelial ovarian cancers are diagnosed late.
In the early stages of ovarian cancer, very few symptoms may be present. Many women do not experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms that may be experienced can be associated with other conditions and hence often go unrecognized. However, in the case of ovarian cancer, these symptoms will gradually increase and worsen with time. Some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
Ovarian cancer usually affects women over the age of 50 but can occur in younger women also. Women with a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer have a higher risk of developing these tumours. Endometriosis and hormone replacement therapy could also increase one’s risk of ovarian cancer.
As with other types of cancer, treatment for ovarian cancer depends largely on how far it has advanced. The main forms of treatment include surgery and chemotherapy. Surgery is usually the first step of treating ovarian cancer. Surgery for early ovarian cancer is called “staging laparotomy” while surgery for advanced ovarian cancer is called “cytoreductive surgery”. Surgery involves complete hysterectomy with removal of both tubes and ovaries. In addition, lymph nodes in the pelvis and retroperitoneum are removed. Removal of omentum (a fatty layer of tissue attached to stomach and large intestine) is also done.
In addition, biopsy samples are collected from the peritoneal lining of the abdomen. If there are other sites of disease, they are also removed surgically. In very advanced cases, parts of intestine (large intestine, small intestine), spleen, liver etc. may also be removed. In some early stage ovarian cancer that are not very aggressive, uterus and one side fallopian tube and ovarian can be saved. This can permit child bearing and is called fertility sparing surgery.
Surgery is usually followed by chemotherapy. Usually six cycles of chemotherapy are used. For early stage ovarian cancer that is low grade, chemotherapy may not be required. Ovarian cancer can come back and all patients need regular follow up after surgery and/or chemotherapy. Physical examination, blood tests, ultrasound and/or CT scan of abdomen are used for follow up. If the disease comes back, chemotherapy may be repeated and sometimes additional surgery can be carried out. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!