Ovarian Cancer – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments!

Ovarian Cancer – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments with Medicines. Also, Ovarian Cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries – each about the size of an almond – produce eggs (eggs) as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, Ovarian Cancer is more difficult to treat and is often fatal. Early stage ovarian cancer , in which the disease is confined to the ovary, is more likely to be successfully treated .

Surgery and chemotherapy are often used to treat Ovarian Cancer . Early –  stage ovarian cancer rarely causes symptoms. Late – stage ovarian cancer may cause few non-specific symptoms that are often confused with more common benign conditions such as constipation or irritable bowel.

Types of Ovarian Cancer:  The type of cell where the cancer starts determines the type of Ovarian Cancer you have. Types of Ovarian Cancer include:

  • Epithelial tumors, which start in the thin layer of tissue that covers the outside of the ovaries. About 90 percent of ovarian cancers are epithelial tumors.
  • Stromatic tumors, which start in ovarian tissue that contains hormone-producing cells. These tumors are usually diagnosed at an earlier stage than other ovarian tumors. About 7% of ovarian tumors are stromal.
  • Germ cell tumors, which start in egg-producing cells. These rare ovarian cancers tend to occur in younger women.

Causes of  Ovarian Cancer:  It is not clear what causes Ovarian Cancer . In general, cancer starts when a genetic mutation turns normal cells into abnormal cancer cells. Cancer cells multiply rapidly, forming a mass (tumor). They can invade nearby tissues and break away from an initial tumor to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasis).

Symptoms of  Ovarian Cancer:  Signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer can include:

Ovarian Cancer Treatment:  The choice of treatment and long-term outcomes for Ovarian Cancer patient depend on the type and stage of the cancer . Your age, general health, quality of life and desire to have children should also be considered. The main treatment options are:

Surgery:  Surgery is the main treatment. Surgery options include:

  • Total hysterectomy: removes the uterus and cervix
  • Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: removes one ovary and one fallopian tube
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Removes the ovaries and both fallopian tubes.

The search for pregnancies after Ovarian Cancer diagnosed at an early stage should be discussed with your doctor, as the guidance varies from case to case. Seeking experienced gynecologic oncologists will help you get the best treatment possible and live longer.

Side effects of your surgery may include urinary or bowel problems, such as constipation or diarrhea. Your ability to have or enjoy sex may also be affected. If the ovaries are removed, you may have menopausal symptoms.

Chemotherapy:  Chemotherapy is used to slow the growth of the tumor or destroy it in many cases. Chemotherapy is recommended for most cases after the initial surgery. But sometimes chemotherapy is given to shrink the cancer before surgery. The number of treatment cycles will depend on the stage of your illness.

Ovarian Cancer  Medications: Chemotherapy medications for Ovarian Cancer can be taken orally, intravenously (IV), or through a tube inserted into the abdomen  through which chemotherapy will be administered directly into the peritoneum (intraperitoneal, or IP, chemotherapy). Sometimes treatments can be combined. Some of the chemotherapy drugs used in treatment include:

  • Carboplatin.
  • cisplatin.
  • Paclitaxel.
  • Docetaxel.

Other medications that may be used include:

  • cyclophosphamide
  • doxorubicin
  • gemcitabine
  • topotecan
  • Oxaliplatin.

Treating ovarian cancer with chemotherapy can cause nausea and vomiting. To help relieve nausea, your doctor will prescribe some medications. Taking both types of chemotherapy often causes more serious side effects than having IV or IP alone. Side effects include stomach pain, nerve pain (neuropathy), and kidney or liver problems.

Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy for Ovarian Cancer uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is not used much to treat this type of tumor. A device is used that aims radiation at the area where cancer cells are found. There is also internal radiation therapy, which uses needles, seeds, threads, or catheters that contain radioactive materials placed near the ovaries or inside the body.

Side effects of radiation can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain or discomfort when urinating, and bladder inflammation and scarring. There may also be an increased risk of infections. More advanced cases can be treated initially with radiotherapy.

Other Treatments:  People sometimes use complementary therapies, along with medical treatment, to help alleviate the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments . Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:

  • Acupuncture to relieve pain
  • Meditation or yoga to relieve stress
  • Massage and biofeedback to reduce pain and relieve tension
  • Breathing exercises to relax.

These mind-body treatments can help you deal with the treatment more easily. They can also reduce chronic back pain, joint pain , headaches and pain from treatments. Before trying a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let me know if you are already using any of these therapies. They are not intended to take the place of standard medical care.

Ovarian Cancer  Prevention : There is no sure way to prevent Ovarian Cancer . But certain factors are associated with lower risk:

  • Use of oral contraceptives, especially for more than 10 years
  • previous pregnancy
  • history of breastfeeding
  • daily use of aspirin

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