Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes
Ovaries are part of the female reproductive organ. The female reproductive organ has two ovaries that are connected by the uterus.
Ovaries are approximately the size of an almond. Cancer in the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. It is hard to detect symptoms of ovarian cancer in the initial stages.
Women with ovarian cancer lose their ability to reproduce, as their reproductive systems are unhealthy and suffering.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Inability to Control UrinationThe urge to use a washroom is just uncontrollable. Due to the abnormal functioning of body parts in the pelvic region, it gets hard to control the urge to urinate.
Pain in the Abdominal RegionPart above your thighs and below your diaphragm is known as the abdominal region. Women with ovarian cancer have overtime reported pain in this region at the early stages.
Difficulty EatingA person faces difficulty in eating most of the time.
BloatingA woman may encounter bloating due to a rise in the acid present in the stomach.
Feeling of FullnessPatients with ovarian cancer continuously report a feeling of fullness.
Signs of Late Stages of Ovarian Cancer
Frequent UrinationYou may feel the frequency and urge of urination by at least twice the regular frequency.
Swelling in Abdominal AreaOver time, in later stages of ovarian cancer, the lower abdomen, particularly where ovaries are located, may feel swelling. The part of the body is easily noticeable and falls out of the usual body shape.
Pain in Pelvic RegionThis could be one of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Many women have reported episodes of extreme pain in the pelvic parts in the later stages of ovarian cancer.
ConstipationWomen have encountered constipation in the later stages of ovarian cancer.
VomitingDue to the inefficient functioning of the digestive system, anything eaten may lead to vomit.
Weight LossDue to the inability to eat and vomiting, the weight keeps falling.
What are the Causes of Ovarian Cancer?
The main and only cause of ovarian cancer in highlight is cell mutation.
Cell mutation is the process of rapid division and multiplication of cells. Cell mutation occurs in different ovaries’ cells, depending upon the type of ovarian cancer, and continues to grow. This cell growth is completely abnormal in nature.
These abnormal cells give rise to a strange structure called a tumor. This tumor keeps growing over time and starts falling out of the individual’s usual body shape. The surgeons often remove the tumor through a surgical method. After that they treat the remaining cells with other medical therapies.
Let’s Talk About Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
These methods are focused on removing the body part that is the root cause of ovarian cancer. These may depend on the spreading rate of the tumor.
Removal of One Ovary:If the tumor is limited to one ovary, the medical health practitioner performs surgery and removes one of the ovaries.
Removal of Both Ovaries:If the tumor has aggressively reached and affected both of the ovaries, then the medical health practitioner operates to remove both of the ovaries.
Removal of Reproductive Organs:Sometimes the tumor affects the complete reproductive organ. Therefore the medical health practitioner operates and removes them. It involves removing ovaries, uterus, fallopian tube, lymph nodes a few tissues around that area.
This therapy focuses on killing the cells that have a faster growth rate. This therapy is the most common mode of treatment. Many people prefer chemotherapy as a mode of treatment.
Chemotherapy involves injecting a drug into the body through the medium of blood. It is often done after the surgery to kill the remaining cells.
Palliative CarePalliative care is commonly known as supportive care. It adds a member, other than your family member, who provides you with care. In addition motivates you to get better in your family. You may use this method for pain-relieving. You can also offer palliative care in cases of other serious illnesses.
Palliative care is often combined with other treatment methods to help a person feel better and heal faster.
Targeted TherapyThere is a range of targeted therapy. The therapy focuses on targeting the weakest link of the tumor cells.
The medication in this therapy involves a prescription for focusing on the vulnerable tumorous cells. They eliminate the cells and helps in healing.
An initial sample test is done of the tumor cells to determine which target therapy will be ideal for the individual.
Medication prescribed in targeted therapy can be hard in nature. In addition that may lead to side effects, managed with other medicines.
What is the Risk Factor?
Risk factors calculations depend on symptoms of ovarian cancer to some extent.
Inheriting Genes for Mutation
Since mutation is the root cause of cancer, inheriting genes leading to mutation is a major risk factor. BRCA1 and BRCA 2 (breast cancer genes) are inherited genes that cause ovarian cancer. These genes also induce breast cancer.
With age, the functioning of the body is affected. The body’s reproductive parts start working less efficiently and might be the potential cause of ovarian cancer. The age group of 50-60 are at more risk. The beginning of menstruation and menopause are the two-age ranges that are also affected.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy
This therapy uses estrogen, a female hormone, to treat menopause and skin related issues. Long-time exposure to this therapy may lead to the formation of ovarian cancer.
Women having a family history of ovarian cancer might fall victim to it.
What are ovaries? What do they do?
Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive organ. Every female is born with a pair of ovaries.
They are connected to the uterus with the help of tissues, known as ovarian fossa. Ovaries are of a grape’s size.
Ovaries have three basic functions in a female’s body,
Secretion of Hormones:There is a noticeable release of hormones like estrogen and progesterone from ovaries.
Protection of female eggs:Female egg is responsible for menstruation as well as reproduction. Thus it is important to protect them.
Release eggs:For the process of fertilization.
What are the types of ovarian cancer?
Germ Cell TumorThis is more prevalent in younger women. It is the abnormal growth of cells that are responsible for the production of an egg.
Stromal TumorThere are tissues in the ovary that are responsible for hormone production. The abnormal growth of these cells counts as the cause of the stromal tumor. Tests can easily detect such tumor at the earlier stages.
Epithelial TumorThis is the most common type of cancer. 90% or ovarian cancers and epithelial tumors. Epithelial tissue is a thin layer of tissue just outside the ovaries. Abnormal growth of cells on epithelial tissues causes epithelial tumors
How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?
Blood TestTests for tumor cells require a sample of your blood. The presence of tumor cells marks a tumor that is further tested using other methods to know the tumor’s exact location.
Pelvic ExaminationYour doctor will examine your pelvic area. They will insert two fingers with gloves through the vaginal entrance, placing one hand on the abdomen. The process helps the doctor in examining your pelvic area and in the detection of ovarian cancer.
Imaging TestA medical health practitioner directs several tests like ultrasounds and CT scans. This helps detect cancer and answer a few questions like, which side the cancer is? How much area is affected? What is the size?
Ovarian cancer may happen to any female, irrespective of their status, lifestyle, age, etc. Cancer awareness is important. Be updated with your intimate hygiene and health. Your body gives you small signs and warnings to alert you.
Look for those signs and warnings, consult even the slightest of change in your health with your doctor so that you can avoid severe repercussions.