Strand Life Sciences found that, in India, ovarian cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. Like all cancers, the sooner it is detected, the better your chances of recovery. And that is why it is vital that you learn to spot the signs of ovarian cancer and take action right away.
Ovarian Cancer: What is it?
If cells in your ovary start mutating abnormally and they keep dividing rapidly to form a tumour, then you will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. If you don’t take immediate action, this cancer will spread to other organs as well.
What are the different types of Ovarian Cancer?
The types of ovarian cancer depend on the kind of cells that the mutation originates from:
Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: The epithelium is the outermost layer of the ovary. Cancer of this layer is the most common form of ovarian cancer.
Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer: Germ cells are the reproductive cells of the ovaries. This type of cancer is rather rare.
Stromal Cell Ovarian Cancer: Stromal cells are the connective tissues of the ovary. This cancer is extremely rare.
Small Cell Carcinoma: It is a very malignant cancer and very rare. It only affects young women. The origin of this cancer is unknown.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms that ovarian cancer exhibits in its infancy resemble those of other reproductive ailments. And that is why women often do not recognise them as an indication of cancer. Here are some usual signs of ovarian cancer–
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Pain and cramps in the abdomen
- Feeling abnormally full after meals
- Frequent urination
- Constant fatigue
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Irregular menstruation
- Bleeding between periods
- Sex may become painful
Simply knowing if you are at risk of contracting ovarian cancer is yet another way to avert it. Its risk factors are –
- Family history of this cancer
- Personal history of other cancers of the reproductive organs such as uterine cancer
- Hormone therapy
- Never having conceived
As soon as diagnostic tests reveal that you have come down with ovarian cancer, your doctor will start a regime of medication and therapy, which will include:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapy
If the symptoms do not recede with medicines and therapy, then you might need to opt for surgery. Some surgical options based on the kind of cancer and its stage are-
- Staging and debulking
With campaigns to enhance ovarian cancer awareness, more and more women are learning to identify the signs of ovarian cancer and seek medical assistance.