Ovarian cancer is a commonly seen cancer in the ovaries. The ovaries are placed on either side of the uterus and produced the eggs required for fertilization. They are also vital for the production of the female reproductive hormones – oestrogen & progesterone. In many cases, the detection of ovarian cancer does not happen until it has already spread to the pelvis and other abdominal regions.
Early detection of the condition, wherein the cancer is limited to the ovaries offers an excellent treatment chance, whereas later detection makes it more difficult to treat and contain the condition. The lack of symptoms in the early stages of the disease makes it rather difficult to detect the condition early.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
- Abdominal swelling
- Unintended weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Pelvic discomfort
- Frequent constipation
- Frequent urge to urinate
Types of Ovarian Cancers
- Epithelial tumours – almost 9 out of 10 ovarian cancers are of this type, wherein cancer begins in the layer of tissue covering the outside of the ovaries.
- Stromal tumours – are the second most prevalent form of ovarian cancer, affecting the tissue that contains hormone-producing cells.
- Germ cell tumours – the least of the ovarian cancer form and more prevalent in younger age-groups, these begin in the egg-producing cells.
Ovarian cancer cannot be completely prevented but the onset of the same can be delayed with appropriate birth control pills. Treatment for the condition includes surgical procedures based on the location and extent of malignancy. The doctors may choose to surgically extract either one of both of the ovaries, and in more extensive cases may also have to remove the uterus.
Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
- Surgery to remove one or both ovaries
- Surgery to remove ovaries + uterus
- Radiation therapy
- Palliative care