Ovarian Cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the ovaries. The cells that have the ability to invade other parts of the body result in causing Ovarian Cancer. Initially, Ovarian Cancer doesn’t show any symptom. A woman affected by Ovarian Cancer might feel bloating in stomach, indigestion, nausea, loss of appetite, frequent need to urinate, changes in bowel movements and pressure on the pelvis and lower back.
Ovarian Cancer might also affect lining of the bowel and abdomen, bladder, lungs, liver and lymph nodes. Women, who ovulate more, are susceptible to Ovarian Cancer. This may include those who are unable to conceive and also those women who begin to ovulate at a younger age.A few risk factors of Ovarian Cancer include medication especially for fertility, getting hormonal therapy after reaching menopause, and even obesity.
The cause of Ovarian Cancer is not yet clear but the reasons that may abet the problem include the following.
Factors that increase the risk
– As women reach the age of fifty and above, the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer increases.
– Large dose and long term use of estrogen hormone replacement therapy also increases the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer.
– Women who have undergone fertility treatment are at an increased risk of developing this cancer.
– The presence of polycystic ovary syndrome in women
– Smoking tobacco in any form
Some symptoms that one can look out for in the beginning include:
Frequent pain in the pelvis or around belly, Regular episodes of bloating, Loss in appetite or feeling full on less food, Increased episodes of urination, Pain while indulging in intercourse, Changes in menstrual cycle, Pain in back, Fatigue and constipation, Unexplained weight loss.
Treatment for ovarian cancer includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. The treatment chosen depends on many factors including the type of ovarian cancer, its stage, grade and general health of the patient.
In most cases, the first option chosen is surgery, which is performed to remove the cancer. The extent of surgery depends upon the stage of cancer.
Chemotherapy is where certain medications are used to destroy the cancer cells. These medication deliver drugs that are poisonous to the cancer cells. It is used to kill those cancer cells that could not be removed by surgery.
3. Targeted chemotherapy
There are newer medications that can directly target specific pathways or functions in cancer cells. These medication are bevacizumab and olaparib.
4. Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is used to prevent estrogen from reaching the cancer cells. Cutting the supply of estrogen slows the growth of cancer cells.
5. Radiation therapy
Radiation is not generally used in the treatment of ovarian cancer. It is used when there are small traces of cancer in the reproductive system or to treat the symptoms of advanced cancer.