Let’s discuss Ovarian Tumor as September being a National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We take an initiative to guide you about ovarian cancer, as it is necessary as an individual for you to know what ovarian cancer is and what defines you to be in a risk of having cancer, if yes what could be the possible risk management.
Ovarian cancer is said to be the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. 1 in every 78 women suffers from cancer. The one who is diagnosed and treated at an early stage enhances their survival rate by up to 90 percent.
Ovarian cancer is defined as a condition of a tumor in ovaries. Ovarian cancer does not only specify ovarian tumor but also tumor/cancer cells in the fallopian tube, epithelial tumor, stromal tumor (tumor in the tissue covering the ovaries), and it can extend to advance stage where cancer can spread through lymph nodes to adjacent organs of ovaries and even pelvic regions of the body.
There are different types of ovarian cancer, which are classified on type of cells causing cancer; viz. Epithelial ovarian cancer (most common ovarian cancer type, it can be benign or malignant), Ovarian germ cell tumor (tumor in the germ cells of ovarian), Ovarian stromal tumors (cancer in the cells that produce Estrogen receptor and Progesterone receptor hormones), according to American Cancer Society.
As ovarian cancer has non-specific symptoms and lacks for early detection, and hence cancer survival rate among ovarian cancer individual is very low.
Usually, all women of 35 – 75 age groups are at risk of having ovarian cancer. Women with a family or personal history of breast cancer, colon cancer and/or ovarian cancer; increasing age; and history of infertility are the risk factors to classify women into high risk of having ovarian.
There are no specific symptoms, for ovarian cancer early detection. Symptoms may exist vague, but few signs can indicate your cancer. The signs include Bloating, Feeling often need to urinate, Pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating and low appetite, fatigue, heartburn or stomach upset, constipation, menstrual changes, back pain, pain during sex. If these symptoms are persistence for 2 – 3 weeks, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist or medical oncologist for initial diagnosis.
A high-risk individual is suggested for management plans. The following recommendations are made for women at high risk for ovarian cancer as a management plan against the disease.
- Women at high risk can undergo genetic counseling and opt for genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 as these genes are related to ovarian cancer.
- Women who have completed their family and/ or do not wish for maintaining fertility can undergo prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (surgery to remove ovaries and few parts of fallopian tube), though the risk should be defined clearly and recommended for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing before surgery
- As BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are also related to an increased risk of breast cancer, regularly once in a month mammography screening is suggested for all women above 25 ages.
– Women with family and/or personal history of Lynch Syndrome, syndrome related to colorectal cancer, are recommended to undergo regular screening imaging testing such as mammography, colonoscopy, and endometrial biopsy.
Earlier the cancer is diagnosed higher the rate of survival. So it is recommended you monitor your symptoms and do an early diagnosis and treatment to best manage your cancer.
– By Divya Jindam