Ovarian cancer is increasingly affecting women all over the world. The most challenging part about this cancer is that the initial symptoms may get overlooked as a period-related problem or any other common illness of the stomach. This makes the prognosis highly difficult.
In most women, ovarian cancers originate in the epithelium, or outer lining of the ovary. At this stage, the cancer may show a few initial symptoms like:
It is easy to get confused with these signs that appear as regular abdomen-related problems and ignore them. Also, taking medications may give temporary relief for a few of these symptoms. It is advised for women to visit the gynecologist if the symptoms persist, instead of taking over the counter medicines.
In many cases, ovarian cancer gets diagnosed after it spreads to the pelvis and abdominal area, which makes it difficult to treat. Ovarian cancers can be treated effectively when confined only to the ovary. There are three types of ovarian cancer, wherein each cell can develop into a different type of tumor.
There are no scientifically known causes for a woman to develop ovarian cancer. Obesity, a major lifestyle disorder, can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Along with this, family history of ovarian cancer , regular use of certain fertility medications, hormone therapies, endometriosis, genetic reasons can also lead to ovarian cancer.
Ovaries are situated deep inside the abdominal cavity. Therefore, it is impossible to feel the tumor development in this region. Also, there is no routine diagnostic screening available for ovarian cancer. As the symptoms of this type of cancer are not very specific, it is crucial to have a regular consultation with the gynaecologist, when a woman observes any of the above signs.
As a part of diagnosis, the doctor may suggest the patient to undergo a pelvic exam. It will help in understanding the irregularities in the region. An abdominal CT scan, blood test to measure cancer antigen, and transvaginal ultrasound are the other few tests to detect ovarian cancer.
Though there are no known practices to prevent ovarian cancer, the risk can be reduced by taking various measures.
Sometimes, the health problems we face may seem very simple. However, it is important to notice them early and consult the doctor to get the timely treatment.