Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all cancers diagnosed in females. It is also one of the most common, which makes it all the more important to understand what this disease entails and how you can protect yourself from getting it.
Unlike many other types of cancer, ovarian cancer does not always show any symptoms in its early stages. That means that it may be too late for treatment to save her life by the time a woman finds out she has ovarian cancer.
In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about ovarian cancer so that you can better protect yourself against this deadly disease and improve your health score.
What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
There are many reasons why it is hard to detect ovarian cancer early. The primary reason that women delay getting a diagnosis is that they do not experience any symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage. However, there are some ubiquitous signs of ovarian cancer that can be detected if you know what to look for:
- Persistent bloating or swelling in the abdomen, mainly when it does not disappear after a few days.
- Significant loss of appetite and food intake. If you are losing weight without trying to do so, this may indicate ovarian cancer.
- A persistent need to urinate frequently is another symptom you should be aware of.
- People with ovarian cancer often complain about back pain that does not go away with medication or rest and can worsen when you move around. This is due to the tumor pressing on your bladder or other parts of your body inside of your abdomen.
What Are The Causes of Ovarian Cancer?
The exact causes of ovarian cancer are not fully understood. However, several risk factors have been identified that increase the chance of developing this disease. The key to identifying these risk factors is understanding how women’s ovaries work and their role in producing eggs. Following are certain risk factors associated with ovarian cancer:
Women who have had the condition known as endometriosis are at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. This is because when tissue similar to that in the uterus begins to grow outside of it, they can attach themselves to any part of the body, including the ovaries. When this happens, it is called peritoneal adhesion and is one of the causes of ovarian cancer.
Numerous studies have found that women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) are at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. This is because the IUD can cause inflammation in the uterus lining, which may lead to peritoneal adhesion and eventually develop into ovarian cancer.
Endometriosis may also develop when the endometrial cells start to grow in other body areas. As these tissues are similar to those found inside the uterus, they act like uterine tissue and begin menstruating every month. This is why women with this condition experience pain during their periods (dysmenorrhea) or have infertility problems.
How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
Following are the treatment options that the best gynecologist in Pune may recommend:
- Surgery: Surgery is usually recommended right away if your doctor thinks you have all or part of a tumour that can be surgically removed with an operation called debulking surgery. This procedure aims to remove as much of the tumour as possible while still leaving some normal tissue surrounding the tumour. The more cancer that can be removed, the better your chance of curing ovarian cancer and preventing it from returning.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the main form of treatment for ovarian cancer that is advised by the best gynecologist in Pune. Treatments are given with a combination of drugs in order to kill the tumour cells and prevent them from growing. A chemotherapy regimen can be either non-platinum or platinum-based, depending on your circumstances. At times chemotherapy may also serve as palliative treatment when it’s no longer possible to remove the tumour.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to damage and kill cancer cells. It may be used in the pelvis, abdomen, chest, or neck, depending on where your tumour was located when it was found during surgery. A machine outside of your body delivers radiation beams directly to the treated area. Radiation therapy can also be delivered inside the body using radioactive implants that can remain in place for several months.
Regular checkup with doctor ensures you maintain a good health score and identify ovarian cancer at an early stage.