Get An In-Depth Knowledge On Ovarian Cancer

Get An In-Depth Knowledge On Ovarian Cancer


Stats: Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It's the 3rd most common female cancer in India. It mainly affects women over 50, with the highest incidence occurring in women aged 63-67 years. The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, but certain factors increase the risk.

Risk Factors: There are several risk factors associated with ovarian cancer. These include a family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer, specific genetic mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2), age, obesity, never having been pregnant, early onset of menstruation or late menopause, and the use of hormone replacement therapy.

Signs & Symptoms: Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because it may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, some common symptoms may include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, changes in bowel habits, frequent urination, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss or gain.

Diagnostic Workup: If ovarian cancer is suspected, a series of diagnostic tests will be performed. These may include a physical examination, blood tests (e.g., CA-125 tumor marker), imaging tests (such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI), and a biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of tissue for analysis.

Staging: Staging is a way to determine the extent and spread of cancer. Ovarian cancer is staged surgically based on the tumor's size, involvement of nearby tissues, lymph node involvement, and the presence of distant metastasis. The most commonly used staging system is the FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) system, which ranges from Stage I (confined to the ovaries) to Stage IV (spread to distant organs).

Treatment: Treatment options for ovarian cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The primary treatment is typically surgical removal of the tumor, which may involve the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and nearby lymph nodes. Chemotherapy is often used to kill leftover cancer cells after surgery. Targeted therapy may be used for specific types of ovarian cancer with certain molecular characteristics.

Prognosis: The prognosis for ovarian cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of cancer at diagnosis, the type of ovarian cancer, the age and overall health of the patient, and the response to treatment. Early detection and treatment generally improve the prognosis. However, ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at later stages, which reduces the chances of cure. The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer varies widely depending on the stage but ranges from about 30% to 90%. Regular follow-up care is crucial for monitoring and managing the disease.

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