Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.
What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?
A risk factor is anything that changes your chance of getting a disease like cancer
- Age: The risk of developing ovarian cancer gets higher with age. Ovarian cancer is rare in women younger than 40.
- Obesity: it seems that obese women (those with a body mass index of at least 30) have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Reproductive history: Women who have their first full-term pregnancy after age 35 or who never carried a pregnancy to term have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
- Birth control: Women who have used oral contraceptives (also known as birth control pills or the pill) have a lower risk of ovarian cancer
- Family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or colorectal cancer
Can ovarian cancer be found early?
Screening tests for ovarian cancer
Screening tests and exams are used to detect a disease, like cancer, in people who don’t have any symptoms. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer. Early stage Ovarian Cancer can be diagnosed by :
- Transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS)
- CA-125 blood test.
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer
The most common symptoms include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)
These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal − for example, they occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms more than 12 times a month, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
Others symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Menstrual changes
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
However, these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions, and most of them occur just about as often in women who don’t have ovarian cancer.
How is ovarian cancer treated?
The main treatments for ovarian cancer are:
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
Often, 2 or more different types of treatments are used. The choice of treatment depends largely on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease.
Other factors that could play a part in choosing the best treatment plan might include your general state of health, whether you plan to have children, and other personal considerations.
HIPEC (Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) is a new treatment option for surface epithelial ovarian cancer along with surgery. This gives increased disease free survival. It is available with Max and we are leaders in HIPEC treatment.
What will happen after treatment for ovarian cancer?
When treatment ends, your doctors will still want to watch you closely. It is very important to go to all of your follow-up appointments.
After your cancer treatment is finished, you will probably need to still see your cancer doctor for many years. So, ask what kind of follow-up schedule you can expect.