Cancer is increasing all over the world and especially cancer of the ovaries. We all remember Angelina Jolie getting both her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last year due to fears of having early ovarian cancer. This increased awareness about ovarian cancer amongst women worldwide, more than anything else.
Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare female cancer, it is rarer than breast cancer or cervical cancer. But it kills the maximum numbers of women worldwide because it is usually caught very late. Its symptoms are those that most of us put up with day in and day out without thinking twice, like persistent bloating , gas, nausea, abdominal pressure and fullness, pelvic discomfort or pain, persistent constipation or a frequent need to urinate, loss of appetite or quickly feeling full, increase in waistline and a persistent lack of energy.
Epithelial tumours that occur in cells located on the surface of the ovary, are the most common. They are also found mostly in women more than 60 yrs of age. Most women never get ovarian cancer even if they live to be 90, but certain others get it in their 30s. Why? Doctors say genetics, obesity and the number of years a woman ovulates are all risk factors. Thus, women who’ve never had babies or been on birth control or have started ovulating very early are all at risk. As, fertility medications that cause women to ovulate more frequently are also a risk factor for getting this cancer.
The truth of the matter is that the sooner ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. So when do you seek treatment for cancer? Obviously, as soon as you are diagnosed. If you have 2-3 symptoms of this cancer present together and they only get worse with time, then you must go to your gynaecologist to rule out ovarian cancer.
If you have the disease this is what your doctor may advise you to do
Angelina Jolie took a bold decision to get her ovaries removed even though she wasn’t really suffering from ovarian cancer. But if you have this cancer and its spread then you will have to go for either surgery in which the tumour and most tissues around it will be removed or radiotherapy or both as treatment.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used to halt cancer progression by killing the cancer cells or keeping them from dividing. These treatments could be administered before or after surgery.
There are a few novel treatments like new chemotherapy drugs, vaccines, gene therapy and immunotherapy but they are still under investigation.
The success of your cancer treatment depends on the skill of your gynecologic oncologists who will design your treatment.