Ovarian Cancer Symptoms to Look Out For

Ovarian cancer is the development of cancer cells in the ovary.

A woman with a teal-colored ribbon, which is a symbol of ovarian cancer, on her hand

Cancer—one of the most fearsome disease that anyone may have. Once you are diagnosed with this, it seems like your life is about to end. Others who lack courage might already think that it is the end of their lives when the doctor tells them that they need to undergo chemotherapy and surgery, whereas optimistic people think differently. They do everything to extend their lives.

There are numerous types of cancer. Colon, lung, bone, and breast cancer are just some of them. There are also other types of cancer which are only evident to a specific gender, just like prostate cancer for men and ovarian cancer for women.

Some types of cancer might not put you at great risk of death because it can easily be treated with chemotherapy and surgery. Although other types are difficult to cure, early detection of it will give you a higher survival rate.

Today, let us have a thorough discussion about one of the cancer types for women—ovarian cancer. Is it possible to escape this disease? How will it be diagnosed?

Cancer

Cancer is a type of disease wherein there is a problem with the cells. It multiplies rapidly resulting in excessive cells that are not needed by the body. It is also the reason why there is a mass of muscles in the area affected by cancer cells.

You might have heard others whose family members passed away because of cancer, then the child of that person also has cancer.  It is because cancer is a hereditary disease. Since cancer’s cause has something to do with cells, which is involved in the development of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, it is or might be carried into the child of a person with cancer.

People who have a history of cancer in the family have a higher risk of having cancer. That is why extra caution is needed. If you were able to be safe from cancer, you also need to remind your children to be extra careful as well. It is because cancer may be passed to them even if their parents do not have it.

Ovarian Cancer

Mothers and other women play a very important role in society. Their most important role is to bear a child.

Women’s ability to bear a child starts with the ovaries. These are wherein the egg cells are developed. Without the egg cells, there is no chance for the sperm cell to form the child alone. But, what if your ovary is damaged due to cancer?

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2.5% of cancer cases in women are ovarian cancer. Although cancer cases have declined in the previous years due to the cancer awareness campaigns and booming medical solutions to it, there are still 22, 440 new cancer cases in 2017 at the United States of America alone. Among these numbers of cases,  1.3% is ovarian cancer.

The figure for ovarian cancer may be small but women have a lifetime risk to this. NCI also stated that the highest percentage (24.3%) of women who have ovarian cancer range from the age of 55 to 64,   while the least percentage (1.3%) are women who are at the age of 20 and below.

No woman can escape from ovarian cancer; everyone has a chance to have it, even those who are 75 and above years old.

What Are the Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

Just like what I have mentioned earlier, cancer is easier to cure if diagnosed early. Here are some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer watch out for:

  1. Bloating- you may also experience abdominal pain and pressure in the abdomen
  2. Difficulty in eating- eating becomes difficult due to feeling full after a few bites
  3. Indigestion
  4. Constipation
  5. Urinating more than usual
  6. Heartburn
  7. Irregularity in your menstrual cycle

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is better to consult your doctor immediately.

How to Get Tested for Ovarian Cancer?

Unlike cervical cancer that can be diagnosed through a Pap smear test, ovarian cancer is quite difficult to diagnose. If you are experiencing one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms and consulted your doctor, he might suggest a pelvic exam.  The pelvic exam enables the doctor to look for a tumor which is an indicator of cancer.

After the pelvic exam and the doctor found a tumor, he might suggest one of the following:

Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS)

This type of ultrasound enables the doctor to detect tumors in the ovaries

Biopsy

This is the most reliable test because it will enable the doctor to confirm if you have ovarian cancer; a small tissue will be collected from the ovary to be analyzed

Is Ovarian Cancer Curable?

Just like any other cancer type, ovarian cancer also has different stages. These stages of ovarian cancer will determine how you will be treated. There are a lot of procedures for it just like what we commonly know—chemotherapy and surgery. According to the data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the NCI, there is a 46.5% survival rate among the cases of ovarian cancer.

What Are the Causes of Ovarian Cancer?

Every woman may have ovarian cancer. Those who have an irregular menstrual cycle, menopause, and were not able to give birth are at higher risk of having the said disease.

Taking birth control pills may also put you at risk of having ovarian cancer.

Can Ovarian Cancer Cause Infertility?

If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and needs to undergo surgery, you have a great chance of being infertile. If you haven’t had a baby and want to have one in the future, there are a lot of ways to do it. 1

One of the well-known procedures is embryo freezing. This is wherein a fertilized egg cell is gathered from a woman then frozen to be used in the future.

Cancer is a really fearsome disease, but by having a healthy lifestyle and diet, you will lessen the risk of having such a disease. If you have a relative or love ones who have it, do not be discouraged and let them get strength from you. The most important thing is to pray together with your family.

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