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Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Ovarian cancer is a type of Cancer that begins from Ovaries. The ovaries consist of two female reproductive glands that produce ova, or eggs. These reproductive glands also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The abnormal cells in the ovary begin to rapidly spread out of control and form a tumor. The tumor can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It can also spread within the pelvis and abdomen.

There are warning signs in Ovarian cancer and if caught early, the disease which is confined to the ovary is more likely to be treated successfully. Schedule an appointment to consult a doctor for diagnosis and quick treatment.

Early symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

You might ignore the early symptoms of ovarian cancer because they’re identical to other common illnesses or they tend to come and go. These symptoms include:

  • Abdominal bloating, pressure, and pain
  • Abnormal fullness after eating
  • Difficulty eating
  • An increase in urination
  • An increased urge to urinate

Other Symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Painful intercourse

These symptoms might occur due to various reasons and doesn’t naturally mean that you are suffering from Ovarian Cancer. Hence, visit your doctor if symptoms persist for a long time.

Types of ovarian cancer

The Ovaries cell can develop into different types of tumor:

Epithelial tumors: It occurs in the layer of tissue on the outside of the ovaries. It has been observed that about 90 percent of ovarian cancers are epithelial tumors

Stromal tumors: It arises in the hormone-producing cells. Generally, seven percent of ovarian cancers are stromal tumors.

Germ cell tumors: This type of tumor is rare. It forms in the egg-producing cells.

Ovarian cysts: Benign Cysts in the ovaries aren’t cancerous. They are in fact a part of ovulation. However, if you aren’t ovulating then they become a cause for concern. The doctor will determine whether the cysts are cancerous by conducting tests.

Cause of Ovarian Cancer

The exact cause of ovarian cancer has not been determined. However, the following increases your risk to it.

  • A family history of ovarian cancer
  • Genetic mutations of genes associated with ovarian cancer, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • A personal history of breast, uterine, or colon cancer
  • Obesity
  • The use of certain fertility drugs or hormone therapies
  • No history of pregnancy
  • Endometriosis
  • Menopause in Old Age

Diagnosis

Tests and procedures performed to diagnose ovarian cancer include:

Pelvic exam: The Doctor will examine your vagina, external genitalia, and cervix. The doctor inserts gloved fingers into your vagina and simultaneously presses a hand on your abdomen in order to feel (palpate) your pelvic organs.

Imaging tests: Ultrasound or CT scans of your abdomen and pelvis are conducted and this will determine the size, shape, and structure of your ovaries.

Blood tests: Organ function tests are performed using a blood test to determine your overall health. Additionally, the blood test is used for tumor markers that indicate ovarian cancer.

Surgery: The doctor can also suggest surgery to be certain of the diagnosis by removing an ovary and have it tested for signs of cancer.

Treatment

The doctor decides the treatment depending on how far cancer has spread.

Surgery: Usually, the main treatment for ovarian cancer is Surgery. The doctor may suggest the removal of a tumor or complete removal of the uterus. There might also be the need to remove both ovaries and fallopian tubes, nearby lymph nodes, and other pelvic tissue. The doctor will remove all the cancerous tissues from the body.

Targeted therapy: Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments will be used by the doctor so that cancerous cells are damaged and normal cells remain unharmed. There are also new targeted therapies such as bevacizumab (Avastin) and olaparib (Lynparza). In people with mutations in the BRCA genes, doctors only use olaparib.

Fertility preservation: To minimize the damage to your reproductive organs for any future pregnancy, doctors may suggest alternative methods. These methods include embryo freezing, oocyte freezing, and ovarian tissue preservation.

Supportive (palliative) care: To provide relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness palliative care is provided. Palliative care can be used while undergoing surgery and chemotherapy.

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