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Ovarian Cancer – An Overview

Apr 06, 2017

Ovarian Cancer – An Overview

Ovaries are the part of the female reproductive system, a formation of a tumor or an uncontrolled growth of cell in the ovaries is known as ovarian cancer. Most commonly, the tumors develop at the outer lining i.e. the epithelium of the ovaries. These cancers that develop in the epithelium are known as epithelial ovarian carcinomas.It is one of the most common causes of cancer death in women.

Like every other known cancer, the exact causative agent of ovarian cancer is not known yet. Multiple factors, known as risk factors, may play a role together in increasing the risk of getting ovarian cancer. These risk factors include:

  • History of ovarian or breast cancers in the family
  • Old age
  • Treatments for infertility or infertility itself
  • Occurrence of breast cancer
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Obesity
  • Endometrosis i.e. above growth of the tissue that lines the uterus

At the beginning stage of the cancer, there are hardly any symptoms exhibited by the woman suffering from cancer and sometimes there is a complete lack of symptoms. Symptoms are seen as the cancer progresses to its later stages. The most common symptoms include:

  • Painful or discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Acidity or indigestion
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Excessive pain during sexual intercourse
  • Frequent constipation
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained and sudden weight loss
  • Short breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Various treatments are used for ovarian cancer. The kind of treatment suggested by the doctor depends on the stage and the location of the ovarian cancer. The most common treatments used are:

  1. Surgery: the tumor is attempted to remove from the ovaries via surgery, sometimes the ovaries are completely removed along with the fallopian tubes.
  2. Chemotherapy: the patient is given periodic doses of specific chemicals in order to kill the cancerous cells present in the ovaries.
  3. Radiation therapy: the cancer cells are targeted and hit with beams of radiation in order to kill them and prevent them from growing and spreading.
  4. Hormone therapy: the patient is given doses of specific hormones to stop estrogen from reaching the ovaries.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.


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