The ovaries are a couple of organs in the female reproductive system. They are in the pelvis, one on every side of the uterus. Each ovary is approximately the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones (chemicals that manage the way certain cells or organs work).
The division and multiplication of cells in an unlimited way in the ovaries causes ovarian cancer. Though the root cause behind this cancer type is still unknown, many risk factors improve the chance of improving this disease.
• Family records of ovarian cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, or sister)
• Inherited variations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
• Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer also called Lynch syndrome
• Postmenopausal hormone therapy
• Tall height
Physical exam and history
• CA-125 blood assay
• Ultrasound scan
• CT scan
• PET scan (positron emission tomography)
• MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging)
• Chest x-ray
Signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
In the initial stages, ovarian cancer has few or no signs. Ovarian cancer symptoms are often overlooked as they are comparable to other illnesses that are normal and can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. However, if ovarian cancer symptoms frequently come and go, getting expert help should be considered. Ovarian cancer symptoms include:
• Pain, swelling, or a feeling of pressure in the stomach or pelvis
• Vaginal bleeding that is huge or unusual, mainly after menopause
• Vaginal report that is clear, white, or colored with blood
• Lump in the pelvic area
• Gastrointestinal difficulties, such as gas, bloating, or constipation
Though these signs may happen because of any other condition in the body, if someone has had one or more of these for a significant period, it is advisable to consult a cancer specialist. These signs might not be severe in the primary stage but as the tumor grows and cancer grows outside of the ovaries, the pain can become severe. Like any other cancer, ovarian cancer, if identified in later stages is difficult to treat.
The chance of recovery depends on the following:
• Type and extent of ovarian cancer
• Stage and grade of the cancer
• If there is more fluid in the abdomen causing swelling
• If all of the tumors can be removed by surgery
• If there are differences in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
• Age and general health of the patient
• If cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred
TYPES OF OVARIAN CANCER?
Differentiated by the kind and type of cells in which cancer starts, there are three main types
- Epithelial Ovarian Tumours – Epithelial Tumours grow from the cells that cover the surface of the fallopian tube.
- Germ cell Ovarian Tumours – These are derived from the ova or egg-producing cells.
- Cord-stromal Cell Ovarian Tumours – Termed as a rare class of tumors, these are derived from the connective tissue that creates female hormones and holds the ovary together.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR OVARIAN CANCER?
Once the patient is through with several diagnostic tests, the expert may suggest one or more ovarian cancer treatment options depending on the stage. The main ovarian cancer treatment options include:
Surgery – Most ovarian cancers can be treated with surgery. The extent of surgery required normally depends on how far cancer has developed and also on the general health of the patient. In many cases, the disease is treatable even without the extraction of the uterus and ovaries. The main purpose of the surgery is to exclude cancer completely from the body.
Chemotherapy – When cancer has metastasized in other parts of the body, the patient must undergo Chemotherapy. It is a systematic method in which the drugs are given in a way that they transfer all parts of the body. Most of the time, the drugs are either inserted into a vein, through a thin tube into the abdominal cavity, or by mouth.
Hormone Therapy – hormone-blocking drugs are used to battle cancer in Hormone Therapy. This treatment option helps treat ovarian stromal tumors.
Targeted Therapy – Almost a new treatment model, the targeted treatment uses medicines that directly attack the cancer cells while causing less harm to the normal cells.
Radiation Therapy – The utilization of high-energy particles or X-rays to destroy cancer cells is known as Radiation Therapy. However, Radiation Therapy is employed parallelly with chemotherapy or when a patient does not respond to other treatment options.
At Niraamay Hospital, we have the best Oncologist in Aurangabad who specializes in treating ovarian cancer with surgery, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.