A majority of women suffer from ovarian cancer that is a type of cancer that surfaces in the ovaries. This cancer starts in the reproductive system of a female. There are two ovaries, and they are located on each side of her uterus. These ovaries are small and sized like an almond. They produce the ova or eggs as well as the female hormones of progesterone and estrogen. When cancer starts in the ovaries, it is called ovarian cancer.
Dr Matthew Boente is an esteemed physician in San Francisco with a specialization in obstetrics, gynecologic oncology, and gynecology. He says that ovarian cancer goes unnoticed in most cases until it spreads in the pelvic and the abdomen regions of the body. In this stage, cancer becomes very difficult to treat. If the cancer is detected in its early stages, like when it is present in the ovary and has not spread to the other areas of the body, it can be treated successfully. He says the two treatment methods for ovarian cancer are chemotherapy and surgery.
An insight into the key symptoms of ovarian cancer
He says that when ovarian cancer is in the early stages, it hardly exhibits any symptoms. Only when cancer has reached the advanced stages is that some non-specific symptoms are mistaken for common conditions that are often benign in nature.
The following are the symptoms and signs of ovarian cancer-
- Abdominal swelling or bloating.
- Loss in weight.
- Discomfort in the pelvic region.
- An instant feeling of fullness when having meals.
- Constipation and change in bowel habits.
- The constant urge to urinate
When should you consult your doctor?
In case you experience one or more of the symptoms and signs listed above, it is time to consult a doctor. In case you have a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, tell your doctor. In such cases, your doctor refers you to a genetic counselor for discussing tests for specific gene mutations that increase your risks for ovarian and breast cancers.
What are the causes of ovarian cancer?
When it comes to the causes of ovarian cancer, the major reason is still not clear. Doctors, however, have identified specific factors that increase the risks of this cancer. Generally, it starts when a cell starts to develop a mutation or error in the DNA.
This mutation will instruct the cell to grow and later rapidly multiply. This leads to the formation of mass or tumor of abnormal cells. These cells continue to live while the healthy cells die. The bad cells invade the tissues nearby, and they break away from their initial tumor to spread inside the body in different parts (metastasize).
According to Matthew Boente MD the primary risk factors for ovarian cancer are gene mutations that are inherited, old age, the age when menstruation commenced and ended, a family history of breast or ovarian cancer all play a vital role in increasing its risk factors. When it comes to discussing them, you should visit your doctor and request him/her to assess your condition with recommended health tests and guide you accordingly with regard to the prevention of ovarian cancer.