Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the common cancers in women but is difficult to detect and hence is often referred to as a silent killer. Ovaries are two small organs present on either side of a woman’s tummy. Ovaries produce and store eggs. In ovarian cancer, the abnormal cells grow on or in the ovaries. These cancerous cells have the ability to spread to other organs of the body. It usually affects women above the age of 50 but can also affect younger females. Ovarian cancer symptoms are not very obvious and they are usually overlooked. Here’s everything you should know about the condition.

What are the causes of ovarian cancer?

Usually, women above the age of 65 develop ovarian cancer but it is also observed in younger women. There is also a higher chance of developing the condition if any of your family members has ovarian cancer or breast cancer. According to some studies, higher risk of ovarian cancer was observed in those who have undergone fertility treatment. Hormone replacement therapy also ups the risk of developing ovarian cancer. The risk of developing the condition is higher in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Endometriosis and obesity are other causes of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?

During the initial stages, signs or symptoms are not distinguishable. The symptoms are often confused with those of irritable bowel syndrome. However, in ovarian cancer, the symptoms are persistent and gradually worsen. Early symptoms include lower abdomen pain, pain on the lower part of the body, backache, pain in the pelvis region, frequent urination, Pain during sex, indigestion, weight loss, nausea, breathlessness and change in bowel movement. You may also experience bloating and tiredness. Consult your doctor immediately if the symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks.

What are the treatments available for ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery and a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Radiotherapy is also used some times to treat the condition. In chemotherapy, chemicals are used to kill the cancerous cells. It is used for cancer cells that cannot be removed by surgery. Usually, three to six chemotherapy sessions are required. In most of the ovarian cancer cases, surgical removal of cancerous tissue is carried out. It is usually the first treatment for the patient. The affected ovary and the fallopian tube are removed during the procedure.

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