Ovarian cancer is one of the most feared diseases to women. It does not only make them suffer physical pain, but also feel frustrated if they cannot bear children anymore. To avoid this cancer, basically take care of your body and avoid bad habits. Nevertheless, here are some important things you must know about the cancer.
1. Three Types of Ovarian Tumors
It is very common to have cysts in the ovaries, especially when a woman has undergone childbearing already, or in the stage of bearing children, which is usually 24 to 30. Most cysts are benign or non-cancerous. But the million dollar question is how cancerous tumors are formed in the ovaries?
There is no common cause aside from bad habits and lifestyle, just like when tumors are formed in other parts of the body. There are three types of tumors in the ovaries. These are epithelial cell tumors, germ cell tumors, and stromal tumors. Epithelial cell tumors, which is the most common type, begin from the cells located on the surface of one or two of the ovaries. Germ cell tumors are cancerous cells that produce eggs. Lastly, stromal tumors are cells that produce hormones of women.
2. Several Risk Factors
Despite the lack of absolute truth about the causes of ovarian cancer, there are some risk factors involved though. These include age, usually when a woman has already in the stage of menopausal condition, obesity, smoking, not being able to bear children, not breastfeeding, family history, and taking hormone replacement therapy and fertility drugs.
There are no obvious signs of the cancer during the early stages. Like other cancer types, signs and symptoms usually occur during the later stages, like stage 3 and 4. However, the following are common symptoms of ovarian cancer.
– pain in the stomach, belly, pelvic region and back
– pain during sexual intercourse
– frequent bloating
– urinary issues, i.e. frequent urinating, urgency in urinating
– appetite loss or difficulty in eating
– changes in the menstrual cycle
4. Warning Signs
As mentioned, the symptoms of the cancer mostly occur in the later stages. If most of the signs are consistently felt for 2 weeks or more, it is probably a cancer. Other than having two or more of the symptoms, other warning signs are when you start to feel them suddenly, and differently than menstrual or digestive problems. Therefore, you must not hesitate to see a doctor for diagnosis. Every woman when they are already 23, and especially if they have at least one kid, must have an annual ovary checkup to prevent having cancer.
5. Screening Tests
Although there are no specific routine screening tests, ovarian cancer can be detected through various physical exams. These include pelvic exam, X-rays, ultrasound, biopsy of the ovary, and the CA 125 blood test. They are also the methods used to identify the stage of the cancer.
6. Treatment and Prevention
The best apart about ovarian cancer is that it can be treated. Yet, the prognosis of the cancer depends on the stage and type of cancer, as well as the age and overall health of a woman. Yet, treatments are available and they are in various forms. The usual methods to cure the cancer are surgery and chemotherapy.
Surgery is basically the removal of tumors, while chemotherapy is the use of medicines that help kill cancerous cells. The latter is suggested after the patient has undergone surgery. This is helpful in preventing the re-occurrence of cancer in cells. Sometimes, radiation therapy may be needed, too, which is the use of high dose X-rays and other energy rays to cure cancer.
It is not rare for women to have ovarian cancer, but it must not be considered as a common illness that is very easy to treat. It is a big risk to have this cancer in women. So, as much as possible, this should be prevented. No women will be happy to have this kind of cancer. For sure, you agree to that. What would you do then to avoid it? Well, know the dos and don’ts of taking care of your health.