Ovarian Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer happens when abnormal cells grow rapidly in the ovaries of a woman. It is one of the most dangerous and aggressive forms of cancers in women since, in ovarian cancer, the cancerous cells spread rapidly through the ovarian tissues to other parts of the body like bladder as well as bowels within the abdominal cavity. Additionally, it can also spread into the lungs as well as the liver.
The causes of ovarian cancer are not fully determined yet, however, there are certain risk zones that can make the chances of a woman developing ovarian cancer pretty likely.
Some of these aspects are, having a history of ovarian cancer in the family, having inherited genes that can lead to ovarian cancer, if a woman never had a baby, and if she started her first menstrual cycle before the age of 12 and menopause happened to her after the age of 50.
If a woman is very much unable to conceive or if one has used hormone therapy in order to deal with symptoms of menopause.
On the other hand, a woman is less likely to develop ovarian cancer, if she has had babies and breastfed, if she has taken birth control pills—although this may pose another risk, in the form of boosting chances of breast cancer, if she has had tubal ligation or hysterectomy.
Coming to the symptoms of ovarian cancer, it is very tricky because it is more of a silent killer and hardly shows any symptoms from the first stage. However, towards the progressive stages of this cancer, symptoms like frequent bloating, loss of appetite, pain in the pelvis or lower belly, or discomfort with urination may show up.
Other than these, there can be additional symptoms like constipation, backache, frequent fatigue, changes in one’s menstrual cycle, indigestion, as well as pain during sexual intercourse.
Ovarian cancer is very unlikely to be diagnosed at early stages, hence, during later stages, it can be determined with the help of procedures like a biopsy, a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound, a pap test, or a cancer antigen 125 level test to determine level of protein on the cancer cells and then make a diagnosis.
Based on these procedures, the type and stage of cancer will be determined, following which doctors may adhere to treatment options like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.