Ovarian Cancer - Health Center

Ovarian Cancer

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Ovarian Cancer And Its Treatment

Ovarian Cancer, as is evident from the name is the one which affects the ovaries of the affected person. Women have a pair of ovaries on every side of the uterus. Every ovary, which is the size of an almond produce the eggs as well as the hormones by the name of the estrogens as well as progesterone. In most of the cases, ovarian cancer goes on to remain undetected until it has been spread well between the pelvic and the abdomen of the affected person. In the later stages, the cancer becomes very hard to treat and can prove out to be very fatal as well. In the early stages of the cancer, the disease is restricted only to the ovaries of the person and can be treated very easily. Mostly, surgeries as well as chemotherapy are the most commonly chosen ways for the treatment of the disease.

Causes of Ovarian Cancer:

The real cause of the Ovarian Cancer is not known. The cancer tends to begin with the genetic mutation and this makes the normal cells to turn to abnormal cells. The cells begin to multiply very easily, and then this leads to the creation of the tumour. Also, then these abnormal cells go on to invade all the nearby tissues and therefore, start breaking off from the initial tumour and therefore spread to other parts of the body. This is known as metastasizes. Some of the major types of the ovarian cancer are as follows:

  • Epithelial Tumours: These begin with the thin layers of the tissue that start outside the ovaries of the affected person. Also, about 90% of cancers are of this type only.
  • Stromal Tumours: These tend to begin at the ovarian tissues and are the ones which contain hormone producing cells. Also, these tumours are diagnosed at the easiest stage as compared to the ovarian tumours. About 7% of the cancers are stromal cells.
  • Germ Cell Tumours: These begin at the egg producing cells. These are very rare kinds of ovarian cancers and therefore, tend to begin in the younger women as compared to the older ones.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancers:

At the earlier stage of the Ovarian Cancer, there are hardly any signs and symptoms which make the detection of the disease very difficult. In the advanced stage however, the causes and the symptoms tend to be very few and very non specific and therefore can be mistaken into some other signs for the benign conditions, such as constipation and even irritability of the bowels. Some of the major signs and symptoms are as follows:

o   Bloating and swelling in the abdomen

o   A feeling of being full after eating little quantity of food

o   Loss of weight

o   Discomfort in the pelvic area

o   Changing in the bowel habits, such as constipation

o   A frequent need for urination

If you have these above mentioned signs and symptoms, then it is recommended to see a doctor regarding that at the soonest. For ovarian cancer, if the risk runs in the family, then the chances of the occurrence of cancer is manifold. A small volume of women all over the world are the ones which have genetic mutations which lead to ovarian cancer.

Tests and Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer:

Pelvic Examination is the first step towards the detection of Ovarian Cancer. In the this the outer genitals of a person are inspected carefully for the signs of the disease. Also, the doctors tend to insert two fingers into the vagina and then press the abdomen in order to feel the uterus as well as the ovaries of the affected person. Sometimes, a speculum is also inserted into the vagina so that the doctors can look for the abnormalities visually.

Some of the major diagnostic techniques are as follows:

o   Imaging Tests: These make use of the CT Scans of the abdomen as well as the pelvis. These tests are used in order to determine the size, shape as well as the structure of the ovaries.

o   Blood tests: These are done in order to look for the Protein CA 125, which is found on the surface of the ovarian cancer cells.

o   Surgery: This is another option in which the tissue samples as well as the abdominbcal fluid are removed in order to diagnose the ovarian cancer cells. In case the cancer cells are detected, the surgeon can begin the surgery option and can remove as much cancer as there is possible.

Staging of the Cancer Cells:

Staging is done in order to check the extent as well as the stage of the cancer cells. This is used in order to determine the best options for the treatment of the disease. The stages of the cancer are as follows:

  •          Stage I:  In this, the cancer is found only in one or both the ovaries.
  •          Stage II: In this, the cancer has spread to other parts of the pelvis as well.
  •          Stage III: In this, the cancer has spread to the abdomen.
  •          Stage IV: In this, the cancer is found outside of the abdomen.

Treatment and Drugs for Ovarian Cancer:

The treatment options for Ovarian Cancer and its treatment consists of a combination of surgery as well as chemotherapy. These are as follows:

  • Surgery: in this, both the ovaries of the affected person are removed as well as the fallopian tubes; uteri as well as the nearby lymph nodes are removed as well. Also, the fatty abdominal tissue is removed because it is susceptible to increase the growth of the cancer. There is an option for a less extensive surgery as well for the removal of the cancer. If it is diagnosed in the early stages, then the chances for the treatment are increased manifold. When women are dealing with the stage I of cancer, then only one ovary needs to be removed along with the fallopian tube.
  • Chemotherapy: After the surgery has been done, chemotherapy is needed in order to kill any remaining cancer cells. These drugs can be easily injected into the vein of the affected person or can be administered directly into the abdomen. Chemotherapy can be also used as an initial option for the treatment in some women who are battling advanced stage of ovarian cancer. 
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