Ovarian Cancer

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. In honor of it, we would like to share some information with you regarding Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian Cancer is accountable for 3% of cancers among women. Ovaries are the reproductive glands found in women. They produce eggs for reproduction. The eggs then go through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the egg implants and develops into a fetus. Ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovaries are made up of three main type of cells. Each cell type can develop into a different type of tumor.

Epithelial tumors start from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary. Most ovarian tumors are the epithelial cell tumors.

Germ cell tumors start from the cells that produce the eggs.

Stromal tumors start from the structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Most of these tumors are non-cancerous and never spread beyond the ovary. They can be treated by removing either the ovary or the part of the ovary that contains the tumor. Early stage Ovarian Cancer rarely has any symptoms. When it’s at an advanced stage it may cause a few symptoms that are often mistaken for common benign conditions such as constipation or an irritable bowel.

Signs are:

-bloating or swelling

-weight loss

-discomfort in the pelvic area

-feel full quick when you eat

-frequent need to urinate

-changes in bowel habits

Treatment

The main treatment types for Ovarian Cancer are:

-Surgery to determine if you have cancer which may include taking biopsies to check the spread of the disease.

-Chemotherapy- various types, which uses medicines to kill the cancer. In many instances this is done once the tumor or infected area is surgically removed.  In some instances, woman may have chemotherapy before and after surgery.  Splitting it up may make it safer for the individual.

-Radiation treatment in some cases is prescribed for patients.

 

Side effects of treatment

Side effects of chemotherapy are different with each individual. They include, but not limited to:

-Nausea, loss of appetite, lowers immune system due to decrease in white blood cells, fatigue, and loss of hair.

-Side effects of surgery depend greatly on the extent of the surgery.  If the physician removes the ovaries, the individual will no longer be able to have children.   Menstruation is no longer possible and menopause begins.

 

Advanced –stage Ovarian Cancer

 

Surgery in this phase requires the removal of as much of the cancer as possible in the ovaries and surrounding areas affected.  The tissue lining the abdominal wall and areas of visible cancer must be removed as well.  This might include surgery on the abdominal wall, intestines, spleen or urinary system.  The ultimate goal is the total removal off all cancer cells.

09/23/15 | 0 comments | in Uncategorized

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