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A Complete Guide on Ovarian Cancer; We Should take it serious at any Stage

The ovaries are two small almond-shaped organs that are part of the female internal genital apparatus. In addition to the reproductive function (they are the female gonads ), they play an endocrine function, secreting estrogen and progesterone.

From a histological point of view, ovarian tumors are subdivided into epithelial, stromal and germinal tumors. Epithelial tumors derive from a malfunction of the Mullerian epithelium (tissue that covers the ovary), can present in benign or malignant form and represent fifty percent of the cancers affecting the ovary. They have a higher incidence in women between the ages of 55 and 65.

Stromal tumors originate in another tissue of the ovary structure. They are rarer cancers and account for four percent of malignant tumors that can affect the ovary. Germinal tumors derived from cells that give rise to eggs. They are also rarer, accounting for five percent of malignant ovarian tumors.

This type of tumor occurs mainly at a young age, ovarian cancer age 30. An example is represented by the dysgerminoma that affects girls or adolescents in almost all cases.

For ovarian cancer, there is no clear and precise list of symptoms to pay attention to, but we’ll give you some important tips on how and what the early symptoms will look like, just keep reading it thoroughly.

Ovarian cancer is often fatal because it is usually diagnosed in the later stages. In the early stages, symptoms are usually absent, and in the later stages, they are non-specific. Diagnostic methods typically include ultrasonography, CT or MRI and the determination of tumor markers (e.g., CA 125 cancer antigen) as stated by ovarian cancer alliance of ohio.

The diagnosis is established on the basis of histological examination. The stage of the disease is determined during surgery. Treatment includes hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, excision of as much of the affected tissue as possible (cytoreduction), and, until the cancer is localized, chemotherapy.

It is estimated that in the United States in 2017 it will result in 22,440 new cases and 14,080 deaths. In developed countries, incidence rates are higher.

SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS OF OVARIAN CANCER

More often in the initial phase, the signs of the oncological process can be confused with other diseases and the diagnosis can be made incorrectly. After a while, you can accurately determine the diagnosis through these Guidelines for ovarian cancer.

There is a constant presence of symptoms or some of them are intensified:

  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Feeling of heaviness and overeating
  • Abdominal distension (flatulence)
  • Frequent urination
  • Drastic weight loss or weight gain
  • Constant feeling of tiredness
  • Frequent pain in the lower abdomen and lower back
  • Dysfunctional disorders in the digestive tract
  • Pain sensations during sexual intercourse
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Disturbed stools (diarrhea / constipation)

When cancer is running, symptoms appear that shows symptoms:

  • Anemia
  • Cachexia (exhaustion of the body)
  • Acute pelvic pain
  • Ascites
  • Swelling of the legs resulting in thrombosis (due to compression of the pelvic veins)
  • Signs of heart failure and respiratory systems

A correct diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be completed after performing a pelvic ultrasound and checking tumor markers ( CA125, CA19.9, HE4, CE15.3, and CEA ), by taking a prescribed blood sample in case the ultrasound picture is suspect.

The main concern is to understand if we are facing a circumscribed neoplasm or if the disease has already taken hold spreading to the pelvic area and beyond. For this reason, gastroscopy and colonoscopy are performed in this phase to exclude a primitiveness from the gastrointestinal system.

RISK FACTORS FOR OVARIAN CANCER

Tumors are multifactorial diseases and, even in the case of the ovary, the causes can be genetic or linked to lifestyle. The causes that determine the uncontrolled division and multiplication of cells in the ovary are not yet known.

It is represented by age, as the peak incidence of the disease is recorded between 50 and 60 years, therefore in women of pre or postmenopausal age.

However, some types of ovarian cancer can occur in younger women. The main risk factor for ovarian cancer is 15-25 percent. Women with a mother (or sister or daughter) suffering from a tumor of the ovary, breast or uterus are more likely to contract the tumor.

The ovarian cancer risk rate is 39-46 percent if a Brca 1 gene mutation is present and 10-27 percent if a Brca 2 gene mutation is present.

Being carriers of a mutation of such genes lead to a greater probability, but not the certainty, of getting sick. In this case, however, it is important to follow a program of regular and accurate checks as well as it is important to inform adult members of the family that they could be, in turn, carriers of the mutation.

To ascertain the existence of such alterations, Brca 1 and Brca 2 genetic test is carried out, a laboratory test that allows the identification of their existence and, in the positive case, the identification of possible prevention options. Since there are no effective preventive strategies for ovarian cancer, bilateral prophylactic annessiectomia (removal of tubes and ovaries) is able to prevent almost all ovarian tumors on a genetic-inherited basis.

Bilateral oophorectomy  (surgery to surgical removal of the ovaries) is now recommended in women with the gene mutation BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 which have already been pregnant or have passed the childbearing age. The laboratory test is extremely useful even when performed on patients already suffering from ovarian cancer because it allows to model the pharmacological therapy on this specific situation and to significantly improve the outcome.

In addition to familiarity and genetic risk, we must consider the endocrine system that deals with the production and distribution of hormones in the body. In general, repeated ovulations seem to be associated with a greater risk of contracting the disease, while pregnancy seems to play an important role as a protective factor of ovarian cancer due to the reduction in the number of ovulations.

The same applies to prolonged breastfeeding which, according to studies, seems to have a positive effect on protecting against the disease. There is also a correlation between endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

In contrast, prolonged use of the contraceptive pill is associated with a lower risk of contracting the disease. Obesity, smoking, lack of exercise are further factors that increase the risk of developing this neoplasm.

THERAPIES AVAILABLE FOR OVARIAN CANCER TREATMENT

The choice of therapy depends on the location and stage of the tumor

Surgery

It is used to diagnose the disease and to stage ovarian cancer, as well as to remove it as radically as possible. In patients with advanced disease, surgery, in addition to assessing the extent of the disease, is aimed at removing the entire visible tumor (cytoreductive surgery).

If the disease is radically removed the gain in terms of survival for the patient reaches forty months compared to patients in whom the surgery did not completely remove the disease. Even in patients with early-stage disease, surgery plays a key role.

In fact, it allows a correct staging in order to set up adequate postoperative management. Moreover, in expert hands, the surgical approach can be “modulated” according to the spread of the disease, the age of the patient and her reproductive desire

Chemotherapy

First and second-line chemotherapy remains, after surgery, the key treatment for the treatment of ovarian cancer and uses a standard pharmacological treatment based on paclitaxel and carboplatin, to date the therapeutic combination of reference.

Monoclonal antibodies

In recent years, mostly in association with chemotherapy, new therapies called “molecular targets” have emerged. These are drugs targeting a specific target identified as particularly important in the genesis or progression of a given neoplasm.

As with many forms of cancer, even for ovarian cancer, a very important target in angiogenesis, or the growth of blood vessels created by the tumor to supply itself with the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow and spread. Anti-angiogenic therapy attacks the disease by stopping the development process of the blood vessels that the tumor needs to proliferate and spread to other regions of the body. The use of anti-angiogenic treatment in ovarian cancer, therefore, offers an important new opportunity.

Bevacizumab was the first biological drug approved in Europe available in ovarian cancer drug market and is the first angiogenesis inhibitor for the treatment of women with advanced non-pretreated ovarian cancer who are able to delay relapses and prolong survival without disease progression.

OVARIAN CANCER AND PREGNANCY

Ovarian cancer is a fairly common disease and affects at least 4 out of 10 women worldwide every year. Despite the fact that ovarian cancer is a rather harmful disease, this should not stop you from leading a normal life, and with proper treatment, you can even have children.

There are a number of professional specialists in ovarian cancer, as well as organizations that provide professional advice and treatment both in your country and worldwide where possible. The Internet is one of the most reliable means by which you can find people or organizations who are professionally versed in all kinds of cancer-related problems.

Many times the question arises that Can a women with ovarian cancer gets pregnant, and the answer is yes, there are a number of people who have gone from harming and decided to lead as normal life as possible when it comes to pregnancy and ovarian cancer.

Although it is customary to try to remove the affected ovaries after pregnancy in order to reduce the effects of cancer. Ovarian cancer during pregnancy is not an isolated matter and can occur in everyone, but the mental power that is necessary to overcome this problem depends on you.

Impact on your child:

With proper care and proper nutrition, you can provide your baby with the best development in ovarian cancer during pregnancy. With proper care, your baby will not suffer from cancer, and you will be able to get a healthy birth before moving on to treating cancer in the most appropriate way.

Ovarian cancer is a fatal problem for your body, but if it occurs during pregnancy, you have the opportunity to cope with both pregnancy and ovarian cancer. It is widely believed that you can become pregnant with ovarian cancer.

IMPORTANT FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

Q- Can Ovarian Cancer be Detected by MRI?

A- Yes, Ovarian Cancer, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer can be detected by MRI Diagnostic Process which is PET/CT Scan. The right time for diagnosis will be suggested by the medical profession after checking the symptoms.

Q- If you have ovarian cancer can you still get pregnant?

A- The answer is, Yes. There are a number of women who have gone through positive pregnancy test ovarian cancer and decided to lead as normal life as possible when it comes to pregnancy with ovarian cancer.

Q- Can ovarian cancer can be cured completely?

A- Many people have a mix of medical procedure and chemotherapy. The point of treatment is to fix the malignant growth if conceivable. In many cases, this is cured completely and in the other ratio of cases symptoms have been removed through proper medications and treatment.

Q- Can ovarian cancer be cured without surgery?

A- Almost 20 percent of ladies with ovarian malignant growth don’t experience medical surgery, although it’s being a standard piece of the treatment which is recommended.

Q- How many ovarian cancer deaths recorded per year?

A- Around 21,000 U.S. individuals get diagnosed to have ovarian malignant growth on per year basis, and around 14,000 die because of this cancer. A person’s lifetime danger of creating ovarian malignancy is around 1 of every 78. Their risk of losing life from ovarian disease is around 1 in 108.

Q- How much bleeding with ovarian cancer?

A- Signs and indications of ovarian malignancy may include general stomach distress including (gas, acid reflux, weight, swelling, spasms) vomiting, loose bowels, blockage. abnormal bleeding disorder from the vagina may happen as a late side effect.

Q- How long is chemotherapy for ovarian cancer?

A- These medications are generally given as a Stage IV (put into a vein) every 3 weeks to about a month.

Q- How much pain does ovarian cancer cause?

A- Ovarian cancer doesn’t bring about any recognizable side effects in the beginning periods as we discussed above also. But, these side effects of ovarian malignant growth can create at any phase of the condition and include: swelling. pelvic or stomach pain or cramping.

Q- Does ovarian cancer cause rapid weight gain?

A- Symptoms of ovarian cancer include swelling in stomach, pain and bloating, all of which individual patients may link this to weight gain.

Q- How does ovarian cancer affects the brain?

A- Ovarian cancer growth is an uncommon reason for cerebrum metastasis with recently reported pervasiveness.           

Q- Why ovarian cancer causes constipation?

A- Sadly, these signs are regularly related to bladder issues. Any adjustment in the bowel motions, or blockage or lose motions of the bowels, could be an indication of ovarian cancer.

Q- Is ovarian cancer is the most deadliest?

A- Real Question is that Can Ovarian Cancer can kill you? Answer is, Epithelial ovarian malignant growth is the deadliest of gynecologic tumors. Around 80% of patients are recorded being dead from ovarian cancer, the deadly disease.

Q- Why ovarian cancer is called the silent killer?

A- Because, as we have mentioned above, in 90% of cases it is impossible to detect this disease in the first two Stages. In most cases, it is detected in 3rd stage or 4th stage.

Q- Can we cure ovarian cancer naturally?

A- There are no proven or claimed methods available by doctors or researcher claiming to cure this disease naturally.

Q- Does ovarian cancer run in the family?

A- An expected 15 percent of ovarian malignant growth analyses are influenced by hereditary, or genetic variables went down through family qualities. Ovarian malignant growths are brought about the modifications in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 qualities.

Q- Can you have kids with ovarian cancer?

A- The answer is Yes. You can have them, by proper medications, treatment and overall good diet instructed by your doctor. After delivery, you can start with the treatment of your disease.

Q- What age is common for ovarian cancer?

A- Most common age for ovarian cancer to be detected is 52 to 65 years. It may occur in any age frame but this is the most common age group for this disease.

Q- Pain during sex Ovarian cancer?

A- If sex is hurting, you could have a tumor that is pushing into your vagina and being troubled by sex. Ovarian cancer can likewise cause hormonal changes that lead to vaginal dryness, which can also cause uneasiness during sex.

Q- How do guys get ovarian cancer?

A- Men can also convey BRCA mutations, so your chances of high risks for ovarian cancer also are attached to your dad’s side of the family. As indicated by the ACS, around 5 to 10 percent of ovarian cancer growths result from acquired hereditary mutations.

Key Points

  • Ovarian cancer primarily affects postmenopausal or perimenopausal women; the risk increases with the inability to give birth, delayed childbirth, early onset of menstruation, delayed menopause and some genetic markers
  • Early symptoms (e.g., dyspepsia, bloating, feeling of full satiation, flatulence pain, back pain) are non-specific
  • If cancer is suspected, CT is performed, tumor markers are measured (e.g., CA 125), and the stage of the tumor is determined surgically
  • Screening for asymptomatic women using ultrasonography and / or CA 125 is not indicated if the BRCA mutation is not high
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy before laparotomy could save patients from unnecessary laparotomy, leading to suboptimal cytoreduction
  • Typically, treatment consists of hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-ovariectomy, and cytoreductive surgery, followed by chemotherapy (eg, carboplatin and paclitaxel)

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