Every year, almost a quarter million woman worldwide are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That is a huge number! Ovarian cancer not only affects the woman, it also impacts their family and friends. Ovarian cancer is an umbrella term for several different cancers that occur via the cells of the ovaries. Tumors that arise from the epithelium ( the cells that line the ovary, are most common. Tumors called borderline ovarian tumors can also occur, which spread quite rapidly. Germ cell tumors and sex cord-stromal tumors come directly from the ovary.
- Continuous pain in the lower abdomen and back
Any cramps or pains unassociated with menstrual cramps
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
Unexplained bleeding apart from periods
Continuous nausea with no other sign of a digestive disorder
- A change in appetite
If you have problems eating, or if you feel full quickly
Your stomach may feel unusually heavy or bloated most of the time.
- Unexplained weight loss
While fluctuations in weight do happen, if you notice drastic changes in your weight without any significant changes in your eating or exercise habits; you need to consider it a problem.
- Urinary problems
Frequent need for urination on a daily basis without having consumed an overload of liquid or water-rich food.
A combination of 3 or more of these signs might occur daily for weeks. Since these symptoms can be associated with other disorders, diagnosis could be delayed. It is time to see a doctor if the symptoms are following a certain pattern. The symptoms usually start suddenly and feel different from other disorders.
These symptoms may also be accompanied by fatigue, constipation, back pain, painful sexual intercourse, and changes in your menstrual cycle.
Ovarian cancer cannot be diagnosed in the early stages since the symptoms can be mistaken for other medical conditions. Tests like biopsies and CT scan of the pelvic area helps doctors determine the presence of cancerous tumors.
Surgery is usually the first treatment. The ovaries are removed. This may or may not be followed by chemotherapy. and totally depends on the nature of your tumor, and the stage of your cancer.
Is prevention possible?
Some doctors claim that prevention is possible, but there has been no comprehensive study that points out sure-shot ways of prevention. However, many feel that risk of getting the cancer can be reduced. Women who consume birth control pills for more than ten years, are at a lesser risk of getting any form of ovarian cancer. Removal of ovaries does reduce the risk of ovarian cancer but increases the risk of heart diseases and possibly other serious medical conditions. Older women are at a greater risk, but that does not mean that the younger woman should not report symptoms to the doctor.
Ovarian cancer can be dangerous, and 1 in every 100 woman are at risk of acquiring it. Regular checkup is the only way you can significantly reduce risks associated with cancer and other fatal disorders.
What are you doing to prevent ovarian cancer?
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