Ovarian Cancer

May 3, 2016

About Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the cancer that develops in the ovaries of women. Ovaries are located above the womb connected by two fallopian tubes. It is the 5th most common cancer in women after breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel cancer and womb cancer.

Basically there are three main types of ovarian tumors:

  • Epithelial tumors: This is the kind of tumor that starts from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary
  • Germ cell tumors: This is the kind of tumor that starts from the cells that make eggs.
  • Stromal tumors: This is the kind of tumor that starts from the cells that hold the ovaries together

Risk Factors:

The real cause of this type of cancer is still unknown but there are some risk factors that are responsible for it. Some of them are listed below:

  • Age: Similar to many other cancers, one of the risk factors of ovarian cancer is age. A woman is at an increased risk of getting affected by ovarian cancer if she is above the age of 35.
  • Infertility: Women who are infertile or who cannot conceive due to various reasons are at a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Family history: Approximately 1 in 10 cancers are caused due to inherited faulty genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2. For that reason, if you have a family member with Ovarian cancer or Breast cancer, then the chances are that you can develop this type of cancer too. If this is the case then you need to be very careful about your health and hygiene.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): A small percentage of ovarian cancer is linked with HRT use.
  • Obesity: As per a recent research, if you are overweight then you may have a high risk of cancer development.
  • Talcum powder: If you use talcum powder in between your legs then you are unknowingly putting yourself at a risk of ovarian cancer. Talcum Powder can lead to irritation and can become a cause of cancer. However research is still going on in this regard but safety measures should be taken while using talcum powder.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can’t be detected easily because they aren’t very clear during the initial stage of this kind of cancer. However here are a few symptoms that should not be overlooked at all:

  • Stark pain in the lower abdomen and back
  • Irregular periods and sometimes bleeding after menopause
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation and feeling of tiredness
  • Excessive pain during sex
  • Swelling in the lower body

Diagnosis:

At first there is a proper physical examination and then it is followed by a few tests. These tests are done to confirm the presence of cancerous cells in the ovaries. Read on to know few of these tests:

  • Blood test: Ovaries produce a protein called CA125 which can be identified during a blood test. Generally, this hormone is present in low quantity but if the level increases then it is a clear indication that there is something wrong.
  • Ultrasound: This test helps to find if the ovaries are of the right size and texture. It also helps to detect if there is any cancerous cyst formation in the ovaries.
  • CT scan: This test helps the doctor see the in depth picture of the ovaries and to find if the cancer has reached to the other parts of the body or not.
  • Laparoscopy: This test is done so that the doctor can see the whole ovary and the areas around it in a clear way to find out the stage of the cancer.
  • Few other tests include MRI, PET, colonoscopy etc.

You can reduce your ovarian cancer risk by:

  • Birth control pills: Taking contraceptive pills is believed to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. According to research, these pills contain a hormone called progesterone that helps to reduce the cancer risk.
  • Having children: Women with 3-4 children have an extremely low risk of getting this type of cancer as compared with women having no children.
  • Breastfeeding: There is a link found between lowering cancer risk and breastfeeding. Therefore it is recommended to breastfeed.
  • Low fat diet, removal of the uterus without removing the ovaries and getting your tubes tied are some other ways to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Treatment:

Maximum of the women affected with ovarian cancer are usually diagnosed in the advanced stage. In this critical stage treatment options are very limited. However, women suffering at any stage can be treated by cancer healer therapy to a great extent. Treatment may be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, etc.