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Ovarian Cancer: What every woman needs to know about it

  By : , Mumbai, India       20.2.2018         Phone:022 6767 0101, 919820418407          Mail Now
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Ovarian cancer has emerged as one of the most common malignancies affecting women in India and has demonstrated an increase in the incidence rates over the years. Ovarian cancer doesnít have a high profile unlike that of a breast cancer, but itís one of the most serious issues for women globally Ė and the fifth most common cancers diagnosed in women overall that leads to the maximum number of deaths in Gynecological Cancers.

The fact that ovarian cancer has vague symptoms makes it difficult to identify the symptoms which are often unseen until the disease has progressed significantly. It is additionally alluded to as one of the silent killers. Women who are diagnosed when they are younger tend to have a poorer survival rate than those older than 60 years in cases of epithelial cancers. The younger patients often however suffer from non-epithelial ovarian cancers which have a better prognosis

Risk factors of Ovarian Cancer

The risk of developing ovarian cancer in the course time for women is about 2%. However, some women have a greater risk of developing it which is why itís important to be aware about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors although there are some risks associated with more than one cancer.†

†- Age
†- Family history
†- Reproductive history

Other Ovarian Cancer risk factors include Ė

- Being overweight
- Using Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT)
- Diabetes
- Smoking

Signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The symptoms of ovarian cancers are frequently ambiguous and non-particular. The following symptoms in ladies over 50 years old should raise doubt of ovarian tumor.

†- Bloating
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)

If these symptoms are evident, persistent and frequent, you should get further evaluation done.

How is ovarian cancer treated?

In younger age groups (below 35), the ovarian tumors are usually benign (Non-cancerous), borderline or cancers like germ cell tumors or sex cord Stromal tumors. In these cases, fertility preservation surgery can be done.

The standard investigation for ovarian cancer includes tumor markers namely CA 125 and CA 19.9 in epithelial ovarian cancer and AFP, bHCG, and LDH in germ cell tumor, MRI of abdomen (if there is any ovarian pathology in sonography). Contrary to old Paradigms, the recent studies have shown that upfront surgery followed by chemotherapy provides the highest survival result. If the patient is fit to undergo a major surgery, the patient is evaluated for a supra-major surgery called cytoreduction and the complete removal of disease in this cytoreduction surgery is usually followed by 6 cycles of chemotherapy which is associated with the highest survival rates.

Newer technologies like HIPEC and PIPAC are now available for ovarian cancer which have recurred many times and also those which are resistant to conventional chemotherapy.

The most ideal approach to ovarian cancers in being aware of the vague symptoms, getting these symptoms assessed at the earliest and in case of proven Ovarian cancer to get treated from a certified gynecologic oncologist who are trained at giving the best and latest treatment.

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