Ovarian Cancer

What is Ovarian Cancer?

The ovaries are two small, oval-shaped organs which are the part of the female reproductive system. They are located in the lower part of the abdomen, which is known as the pelvis.

The ovaries is also responsible to produce the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. As a woman nears the menopause the ovaries make less of these hormones and periods gradually stop.

Ovarian Cancer often called as silent killer because there are not signs or symptoms until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage.

Benign Tumors

Benign tumors are not cancerous cells. Benign tumors can be removed and usually, they do not come back. Cells from benign tumors do not invade to any other tissues and do not spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors are rarely found.

Malignant tumors

Malignant tumors are cancerous cells. They invade in the cells and damage the tissues and spread to the other parts of the body. Cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor in the ovary and spread to other organs and form new tumors. Ovarian cancer may spread to the colon, the stomach, and the diaphragm. The cancer cells can also enter the lymphatic system or the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body.

The most common type of ovarian cancer is called epithelial carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian cancer means the cancer has started in the cells that cover the surface of the ovary. There are several other types of epithelial cancers of the ovary they are:

  • Mucinous
  • Endometrioid
  • Unclassifiable

Ovarian Cancer Causes

  • It is more common in women who have not had children; although the risk is still very low. Most ovarian cancers occur in women who have had their menopause.
  • A small number of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited faulty gene in the family.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Most women with early-stage cancer of the ovary don’t have any symptoms for a long time. When symptoms occur they may include any of the following: Some of the symptoms are:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight gain
  • shortness of breath
  • pain during sex
  • pain in the lower abdomen

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

CT scan is a series of x-rays images.

A lower GI series, (or barium enema), is a series of x-rays of the colon and rectum.

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray of the kidneys and ureters, taken after the injection of a dye.

How is ovarian cancer treated?

Ovarian cancer treatment includes the following:

Surgery – It is required to remove the lump and nearby lymph nodes. (Lymph nodes are located in the abdomen or groin area.) Removal of the testicle does not affect fertility or the ability to have an erection because the other testicle is still intact.

Radiation therapy – This treatment uses high-dose X-rays or other high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells.

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells outside the testicle. This drug therapy is usually given by infusions into your veins or can be given orally.