What are the Risks of an Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis?
Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth in the ovary. A cancerous growth means that there is mass of malignant substance growing in the affected area.
The fallopian tube is considered to be the common area where ovarian cancer occurs. Next to breast cancer, ovarian cancer is the second leading cause of death among women due to gynecologic infections.
The Silent Killer
In most medical journals and publications, ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer because the symptoms its causes are often inconclusive and may vary from case to case, which causes delay in prognosis wherein the disease is discovered only in the later stages.
Despite the variation in symptoms, the following are the most common complaints of those who suffer from ovarian cancer:
1) Abdominal pain
2) Back pain
3) Urinary urgency
6) Pelvic pain
7) Vaginal bleeding
8) Weight loss
Despite the long list of the symptoms manifested by those who suffer from ovarian cancer, it does not totally contribute to an early and accurate detection of the disease because the abovementioned symptoms are also commonly encountered by women suffering from other less serious maladies.
Women who suffer from ovarian cancer report that the symptoms they feel are persistent wherein the frequency and the number of symptoms represent a key factor in diagnosing the disease.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer
The cause of the disease is relatively unknown, and is still a question that is the center of researches and studies. What is known though is that the disease commonly develops in middle-aged women.
The risk of developing the disease is greater when one has a relative in the first and second degrees with the disease.
Women who have never been pregnant are also at risk in developing the disease. The use of contraceptives may diminish the risk of developing the disease along with tubal ligation.
Ovarian cancer is classified as secondary cancer, resulting from metastasis from a primary cancer in the body. The primary cancer for women is breast cancer.
Stages of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer has four stages.
The first stage describes the infection as starting with either of the two ovaries, later spreading to both ovaries.
Stage two refers to pain in the pelvic area, indicating that the disease is spreading slowly.
Stage three involves microscopic peritoneal implants outside of the pelvis.
The last stage involves metastases to the liver.
Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
The most preferred treatment for the disease is surgery.
Surgery is first done to obtain a muscle sample to determine the extent of the infection and the type of infection. Once the process is done, doctors can now decide what method of treatment to use.
In treating the disease, chemotherapy is frequently used.
Chemotherapy is usually administered after surgery to treat any possible remnant of the disease.
Another common treatment is radiation therapy, although this is not recommended in the advanced stages of the disease because it involves exposing the body to high amounts of radiation that are harmful to other parts of the body.