Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the ovaries. Like other forms of cancer, ovarian cancer is a serious and dangerous disease.
The exact causes of ovarian cancer are not known.
As is known in women of childbearing age, every month in one of the ovaries during ovulation, a small part of the tissue breaks. After ovulation, the surface of the ovary heals. However, during the healing process, normal cells can undergo some changes, which after many years may cause their transformation into a tumor.
Women who were pregnant at least once have less risk of the ovarian cancer as well as breastfed mothers.
As for the issue of the “genetic map”, it is a matter of heredity. According to modern research, the hereditary predisposition to this disease plays a role in the development of ovarian cancer. In particular, in women whose close relatives (mothers, sisters or daughters) had ovarian cancer, the risk of developing this disease throughout life increases from 1.6% to 7%-10% (if one relative had the disease) or up to 50% (if two or more relatives had the disease). Genes predisposing to the development of ovarian cancer can be transmitted both along the line of the mother and along the line of the father.
The first symptoms of ovarian cancer can be:
- constant or often recurring sensation of bloating,
- stomach ache,
- frequent heartburn,
- increase of the abdominal circumference,
- unexplained weight loss,
- frequent urge to urinate,
- prolonged constipation,
- increased fatigue,
- feeling of rapid satiety while eating,
- bloody discharge from the vagina.
It is clear that in the understanding of most people almost all these symptoms (except for weight loss and bloody discharge) are not associated with the idea of a serious illness. For this reason, women who begin to have the developed ovarian cancer, rarely consult a doctor, writing off these symptoms for “age”, “stomach disease”, “improper diet”, etc.
More noticeable and severe symptoms of ovarian cancer appear when the tumor spreads to neighboring organs and gives metastases. In particular, in the case of spread of the tumor to the liver and peritoneum, ascites may develop, causing severe abdominal pain, severe weight loss.
Spreading the tumor into the lungs can cause coughing, the appearance of fluid in the pleural cavity.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about a preventive examination if you are older than 45-50 years and:
- some of your close relatives (mother, sister, daughter) had ovarian cancer,
- someone from your close relatives or you yourself have had breast cancer,
- during the period of the formation of menopause, you took medications with female sex hormones (it’s not about losing weight drugs like Meridia, but about drugs that affect the hormonal background, which are sold in online pharmacies).
The tactics of treating ovarian cancer are determined by a group of oncologists on the basis of a set of all data on the health status of a sick woman. The main role in determining possible ways of treatment is played by the degree of spread of the tumor and the condition of the woman at the time of going to the doctor.
Currently, two main methods of treatment are used in the treatment of ovarian cancer: surgery to remove the ovaries and all visible foci of tumor growth and chemotherapy.