By Dr. Prashanth Hegde, General Surgery
Ovarian cancer is characterized by malignant growths in the ovaries. Usually most of these growths occur in the epithelium (outer lining) lining of the ovary. The initial stages of this cancer do not exhibit any defined symptom:
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
1. You may experience pain in the pelvis
2. Pain in the lower part of the stomach
3. You may constantly feel the urge to urinate
4. You may suffer from symptoms of indigestion
5. Engaging in sexual intercourse may result in pain
6. Problems in bowel movement
7. In some cases, you may experience symptoms of breathlessness and nausea
Ovarian cancer is caused by multiplication of cells in an unregulated manner. However, there are no known causes behind this irregular multiplication that takes place.
However, there are certain factors which can increase the risk of ovarian cancer, them being:
1. Older woman above the age of 65 have a higher risk of suffering from ovarian cancer
2. If someone in your family has cancers of the ovaries or the breasts, then chances of you being affected by the same increase.
4. Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
5. Endometriosis (growth of uterine tissues outside your uterus)
6. If you are undergoing treatment for infertility
This condition is treated using chemotherapy, hormone therapy (using of hormones in the treatments) and targeted therapy (therapy that affects only the cancerous cells, without harming the normal cells). The type of treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how well suited you are for the particular treatment. In some cases, the doctor may opt for surgery to eliminate ovarian cancer.