Cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body begin to multiply uncontrollably. Ovarian cancer is the uncontrolled increase of abnormal cells in the ovaries or the related areas of the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum. It can invade and destroy healthy body tissues. This abnormal cell growth can be problematic and commonly leads to the development of tumors.
The female reproductive system is made up of two almond size ovaries on each side of the uterus. The hormones progesterone and estrogen are made by each ovary. Ovarian cancer is usually treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
Types of ovarian cancer
Different types of ovarian cancer have been categorized based on the type of cells, they are:
- The epithelial cells that line the ovary's external surface
- Germ Cell ovarian cancer arises from the cells that produce the eggs (ova) and is rare.
- Stromal cells connect the ovaries' structural components and release hormones.
- Small cell carcinoma (SCCO) of the ovary is a very rare ovarian cancer.
The ovarian cancer symptoms are:
- Feeling pelvis and abdominal pain, discomfort, or bloating.
- Changes in eating patterns, excessive heaviness, and appetite loss can develop.
- Noticing irregular bleeding or vaginal discharge and, more often, digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation.
- Observing growth in the size of the abdomen or feeling any strange bumps.
- Experiencing frequent or urgent urination.
When To See A Doctor?
Consult your doctor, if you notice symptoms of ovarian cancer. It is impossible to self-diagnose ovarian cancer at home. Even if you notice some of the warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer you may not have the disease. The cancer diagnosis requires a variety of tests and consultation of a medical professional.
It's still not clear which factors lead to ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer commences when cells in or near the ovaries develop changes (mutations) in the DNA. A cell's DNA holds the instructions that manage the cell's functions. The mutations instruct the cells to increase and multiply quickly, forming a mass (tumor) of cancer cells. These cancer cells persist even after the healthy cells die, and they can invade surrounding healthy tissues and metastasize to other body parts.
- The risk increases with age, and most ovarian cancers appear after menopause.
- As per experts in a few cases Obesity can cause ovarian cancer.
- Ovarian cancer risk is increased if it is your first full-term pregnancy after age 35 or if you never carry a child to term.
- Treatments of infertility Contradictory research has suggested a link between in vitro fertilization therapy and borderline ovarian cancers.
- Long-term post-menopause hormone therapy, especially estrogen therapy alone, carries a higher cancer risk.
- The risk increases with a family history of colorectal, breast, or ovarian cancer.
A medical history, physical and pelvic examination are necessary for the cancer diagnosis. The precise diagnosis is determined during surgery. The doctor may also request other tests, such as:
- Ultrasound scan: This diagnostic imaging procedure uses sound waves to generate an image of the uterus, liver, and kidneys on a monitor.
- Pelvic examination: The doctor may examine for any odd changes in the vulva, vagina, uterus, and ovaries.
- CT scan / MRI scan:A computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan captures images of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen to generate a three-dimensional image that helps doctors look for cancer symptoms throughout the body.
- Chest X-ray: X-rays use radiation to create images of the inside of the body. Chest X-rays can determine whether ovarian cancer has progressed to the lungs or other organs.
- Biopsy: Surgery or biopsy is used to determine if the affected cells are cancerous or not.
- Genetic testing: The doctor may recommend genetic testing for cancer to screen for gene mutations that increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
The treatment of ovarian cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The affected ovary, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed during surgery, and a biopsy is done to look for cancer cells. The treatments of ovarian cancer are:
- Surgery: The type of cancer and its spread will determine if surgery is required. Surgical alternatives include hysterectomy, ovary removal (either one or both), and removing lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a cancer-fighting treatment that uses chemo drugs to eliminate the rapidly dividing cancerous cells.
- Targeted therapy: Some treatments specifically target cancer-promoting cells. Examples include angiogenesis inhibitors and monoclonal antibody treatments.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation Oncology or radiotherapy is a medical specialty that deals with damaging cancer cells & tumors with high-energy Ionizing radiation such as X-rays, gamma rays, protons, neutrons & carbon ions. It is given alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy for treating various types of cancers.
- Immunotherapy (biotherapy): Immunotherapy uses medications to boost a person’s immune system to identify and kill cancer cells
Do's and Don’ts
Early stage of ovarian cancer often does not show symptoms; therefore it can be challenging to diagnose it. Good diet and lifestyle habits can help lower the chance of developing diseases, such as ovarian cancer. The overall quality of life and survival rate for patients with ovarian cancer may be enhanced by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
|Maintain healthy body weight||Avoid genetic testing in case of having a family history of cancer.|
|Keep yourself active by doing exercises regularly.||Avoid skipping the medicines prescribed by the doctor.|
|Avoid smoking and tobacco products.||Include processed meats , junk and canned foods in the diet.|
|Limit excess alcohol consumption||Avoid regular cancer screenings|
|Consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms persisting for a long time.||Skip your scheduled doctor consultations.|
Follow the do's and don'ts for ovarian cancer to prevent or manage cancer effectively and to live a quality healthy life.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover hospitals, we have the most trusted group of oncologists who are experts in offering the finest medical treatments to our patients with compassion and care. To treat ovarian cancer, the doctors follow a holistic approach that includes the active participation of other healthcare professionals from several departments to treat the disease for quick recovery. Our trusted doctors diagnose and systematically treat the illness to deliver successful treatment outcomes.