Ovarian cancer refers to a type of cancer that originates in female ovaries. All women have two ovaries which resemble the size and shape of an almond. They are found on either side of their uterus in the pelvic region. The ovaries produce eggs and two important female hormones. These are estrogen and progesterone. This type of cancer occurs when there are sudden genetic mutations in the cells which form inside the ovaries.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
In Ovarian cancer, the abnormal cells begin to grow and replicate at an alarming rate. They then accumulate together to form a malignant tumor that spreads to the other tissues in the body.
Dr. Matthew Boente is an esteemed doctor specializing in gynecologic oncology and obstetrics with over 30 years of experience in the field. He is a graduate of the prestigious Rush Medical College in Illinois, Chicago.
He went on to complete his education from the famous Rush Presbyterian Medical Center. He is currently a member of several prominent accredited medical bodies in the United States. These include the Oncology Group, American Association for Cancer Research, International Gynecologic Oncology Society, and the American Medical Association.Read more: Menstrual Cups To Enable Odor And Leak Free Approach
He says oncologists can treat ovarian cancer in women at an early stage of their diagnosis. This needs to be done with the help of a cancer screening test; however, the Pap Test does not detect Ovarian Cancer; it only detects cervical cancer. The appropriate screening tests for cancer will be recommended by the doctor who examines you.
The following are the symptoms of Ovarian cancer-
- Unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina
- Excruciating pain in the pelvic region,
- Abdominal pain,
- Eating and digestion issues,
- Frequent urination and constipation
- Abdominal bloating, and
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss.
He further clarifies that ovarian cancer can affect any woman regardless of her background. However, those falling under the following categories are at greater risk than others:
- Women who are above the age of 50 years,
- Those suffering from Lynch syndrome or have a BRAC 2 genetic abnormality,
- Have recently recovered from breast or colorectal cancer,
- Have a female member in the family with a history of ovarian cancer, and
- Have never experienced childbirth or difficulties in becoming pregnant.
Ovarian cancer cannot be prevented however the following women have a lower chance of contracting this type of cancer-
- Those women who have given birth and have breastfed their babies
- Those who have had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy
The above factors, however, are not medically recommended for everyone. You should consult a good doctor and undergo an extensive diagnosis. Your doctor will devise a customized treatment plan if ovarian cancer is detected.
For a customized treatment plan, your doctor will recommend tests for ovarian cancer. They can be-
- Rectovaginal pelvic test
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- CA-125 blood test
After you get the results for these tests, you can be treated with chemotherapy or surgery. As stated by Dr. Matthew Boente MD you should listen to your body for any changes. In case, you notice something abnormal, consult your doctor and get yourself screened for ovarian cancer. Early detection will save your life.