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Woman get ovarian cancer

As discussed in Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors , we do know some factors that make a woman more likely to develop epithelial ovarian cancer. Much less is known about risk factors for germ cell and stromal tumors of the ovaries. The most recent and important finding about the cause of ovarian cancer is that it starts in cells at the tail ends of the fallopian tubes and not necessarily in the ovary itself. This new information may open more research studies looking at preventing and screening for this type of cancer. There are many theories about the causes of ovarian cancer.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Understanding Ovarian Cancer Stages and Symptoms


What Are the Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer?

Error: This is required. Error: Not a valid value. Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells grow and multiply in one or both of the ovaries.

The ovaries are a pair of small organs in the female reproductive system that contain and release an egg once a month in women of menstruating age. This is known as ovulation. It is also possible to have borderline epithelial tumours which are not as aggressive as other epithelial tumours. These are sometimes called 'low malignant potential' or LMPO tumours. As with most types of cancer, the outlook depends largely on how far the cancer has advanced by the time it is diagnosed, and on your age at diagnosis.

Many of these symptoms are be similar to those of other conditions. We don't know the causes of ovarian cancer, but there are risk factors that may make developing the condition more likely. These include:. Only around 5 to 10 in every cases of ovarian cancer are due to inherited factors. Having endometriosis , using hormone replacement therapy for a long time, smoking cigarettes and being obese also increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer.

See your doctor if you regularly have pain in the pelvis and lower stomach, persistent bloating and difficulty eating. If you've already seen your doctor and the symptoms continue or get worse, it is important to go back and explain this, as you know your body better than anyone. A physical examination for ovarian cancer involves checking for any lumps or masses by feeling the abdomen and doing an internal examination.

If your doctor thinks your symptoms should be investigated further, you will be referred for imaging and a blood test. An ultrasound is usually done internally transvaginal ultrasound by inserting a small probe into the vagina to check for cysts , tumours or other changes that might or might not be ovarian cancer.

Ultrasound results cannot be used to give a definite diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Imaging of the chest and abdomen tummy may also be done to look for spread of the cancer. This usually involves ultrasound or computed tomography CT scans. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI scans or x-rays may sometimes be used. If a transvaginal ultrasound shows a cyst or tumour on the ovary, blood tests might be done to look for increased levels of the protein CA This may indicate that ovarian cancer is present.

However, it can also indicate other conditions such as ovulation, menstruation , endometriosis , fibroids or benign ovarian cysts. Illnesses such as liver or kidney disease can also cause an increase in CA levels.

For these reasons, a CA test alone cannot be used to diagnose ovarian cancer. If there's a build-up of fluid in the abdomen, a fluid sample can be taken by paracentesis through a needle passed through the skin. The fluid is checked under a microscope for cancer cells.

The only way to definitely find out whether a woman has ovarian cancer is with an operation and a biopsy of the tumour or cyst. The first treatment for ovarian cancer is usually an operation called a 'laparotomy'. This operation is also the main way that a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is confirmed.

During a laparotomy, a long vertical cut is made in your abdomen, which allows the surgeon to find and remove as much of the tumour as possible. In many cases, the surgeon will do a biopsy of the tumour at the beginning of the operation to confirm that it is cancer. This is called a 'frozen section'. If the frozen section confirms that the tumour is cancer, the operation will continue. For most women, the operation will involve removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the uterus, the omentum the fat pad around the organs in your abdomen , the appendix and some of the lymph glands in the area.

Sometimes it may be necessary to remove some of the bowel. After your operation, samples of the tissue removed are sent to a laboratory for further examination. The results of these biopsies will provide more information about the type and extent of your cancer and enables the gynaecological oncologist to make decisions about further treatment. Most women stay in hospital for up to a week after surgery.

You may have pain relief through an epidural, rectal suppositories or patient-controlled analgesia PCA , which enables you to control the level of pain medicine given. It will be uncomfortable to move around at first but getting out of bed and walking a little bit can also help to relieve the pain caused by wind gas in the abdomen. You will need to avoid heavy lifting, driving and having sex for about 6 weeks after surgery.

Most women with ovarian cancer will require chemotherapy , usually referred to as 'chemo'. The purpose of chemo is to attack cancer cells and to slow or stop their growth while causing the least possible damage to normal cells. Chemotherapy works best when the tumour is small and the cancer cells are actively growing. Even though most of the cancer may have been removed during surgery, there may be some cancer cells left.

For this reason, chemotherapy works best if started soon after surgery. Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is usually given through an intravenous IV drip in an outpatient clinic at the hospital. Most women will receive 6 rounds or cycles of treatment with 3 or 4 weeks in-between each. This means the total treatment time usually continues over several months. Before each treatment, you will have a blood test to make sure your body's normal cells have had time to recover.

You will also have blood tests and may have a CT scan to measure your response to the treatment. If your cancer does not respond completely to the initial treatment, you may need further chemotherapy. You may also need further treatment if your ovarian cancer comes back in the future this is called 'second line chemo'. The drugs used in further treatments will depend on the chemo drugs initially used, the time between treatments and the aims of the treatment. Radiotherapy is occasionally used as a treatment option for ovarian cancer.

Radiotherapy may be used where cancer is confined to the pelvic cavity. It may also be used in advanced ovarian cancer to reduce the size of the cancer and help to relieve symptoms. You can have medications that target only the cancer cells without harming normal cells. This means there are fewer side effects than with chemotherapy. Many women with ovarian cancer are interested in trying complementary therapies — 'natural' therapies that may be used to help manage symptoms and side effects, reduce pain, relieve stress and encourage a feeling of wellbeing.

Let your doctor know if you are considering natural therapies to ensure they are compatible with the treatment you are receiving. After your course of treatment has finished you will be invited for regular check-ups, usually every 2 to 3 months to begin with. At the check-up your doctor will examine you. They may do blood tests or scans to see how your cancer is responding to treatment.

There is no proven way to prevent ovarian cancer. Even if you have a strong family history, removing your ovaries will not necessarily prevent cancer. Ovarian cancer can spread to other parts of the reproductive system and the surrounding areas, including the womb uterus , vagina and abdomen. You may also experience emotional challenges from the shock of a cancer diagnosis and fears about the future. Or you may have physical side effects of treatment such as nausea and fatigue.

There are also practical aspects of treatment to deal with including costs and travel. More specific emotional problems include anxiety and depression. Younger women who have both ovaries removed as part of surgery will no longer have periods after surgery. This will lead to menopause and may result in menopausal symptoms. Women who have their uterus removed but still have one ovary will no longer have periods but will not get menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.

You may decide to take hormone replacement therapy HRT to control your symptoms. There is no reason why you cannot take HRT after your ovarian cancer treatment. Your doctor will be able to help you decide what's best for you.

If ovarian cancer has not spread or if it's found to be a borderline tumour a type of less aggressive ovarian cancer , it may be possible to just remove only the affected ovary, leaving the other ovary and the uterus. This means that a woman may still fall pregnant after surgery. It's important for women who have not yet completed their family to speak to a doctor about these issues before surgery. Ovarian Cancer Australia can provide more information on ovarian cancer through their website , or by calling their information line on Peer support groups give women the chance to meet and talk with people who have been through or are going through similar experiences.

Often people say they feel less anxious and alone and more optimistic about the future after meeting with a support group.

You can also get support by telephone or online. For more information about support groups, including tele-support visit the Ovarian Cancer Australia website. Depending on where you live, you might be able to go to a Look Good Feel Better workshop.

These are free of charge and provide tips and advice about dealing with changes to the way you look caused by cancer treatment. Workshops are available in capital cities and other major centres. Cancer Council Australia also offer support for you and your loved ones via their helpline on 13 11 Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content. Most ovarian cancers start in the epithelial cells, which form the outer layer of tissue around the ovary.

Other types of ovarian cancer: Borderline ovarian cancer, Ovarian germ cell tumours, Stromal sex cord tumours. Read more on Cancer Australia website. Read more on NT Health website.

Ovarian cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in 1 or both ovaries in a womans reproductive system. The earlier the cancer is detected and diagnosed, the better the outcome.

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease like cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed.

The likelihood of developing the disease may be higher if a woman has one or more ovarian risk factors. One key risk factor is age.

Research has shown that certain risk factors increase the likelihood a woman may get ovarian cancer. Having risk factors does not predict you will get ovarian cancer. Some women who get the disease have no known risk factors, and most women with the risk factors will not get ovarian cancer. However, if you think you may be at risk for ovarian cancer, you should speak with your doctor.

Risks and causes

The ovaries are small organs that make female hormones and eggs. Women usually have two small ovaries, one on each side of your uterus womb. Around 3 in Australian women who have cancer have ovarian cancer. Each year, about Australian women find out they have ovarian cancer. This is called a gene mutation. Most women at high risk of ovarian cancer carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, but some other gene mutations such as those causing Lynch syndrome also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. For women who are at high inherited risk of ovarian cancer, a surgical procedure called Risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy RRBSO has been proven to reduce this risk.

What You Need to Know About Ovarian Cancer

If you have symptoms of cancer contact your doctor. Read our information about coronavirus and cancer. Your risk of developing ovarian cancer depends on many things including age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. Anything that can increase your risk of cancer is called a risk factor. Those that lower the risk are called protective factors.

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The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. Other internal female reproductive organs are the:. The ovaries are 2 small, oval-shaped organs, each about 3 cm long and 1 cm thick. They are found in the lower part of the abdomen the pelvic cavity.

Risk Factors

Error: This is required. Error: Not a valid value. Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells grow and multiply in one or both of the ovaries.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

There are many types of ovarian cancer, with epithelial ovarian cancer being by far the most common form. Germ cell and stromal ovarian cancers are much less common. Cells in the ovary start to change and grow abnormally. If ovarian cancer symptoms are identified and the cancer diagnosed at an early stage, the outcome is more optimistic. However, there are four main ovarian cancer symptoms that are more prevalent in women diagnosed with the condition.

Ovarian cancer

All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. Whether you're in your 20s or 90s, we've got you covered! Choose your decade to find out what steps you can take to be healthier. The javascript used in this widget is not supported by your browser. Please enable JavaScript for full functionality. Ovarian cancer is cancer that begins in the ovaries.

In the UK nearly 7, women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. Your risk of getting cancer increases with age, with most cases occurring after.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs ova as well as the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The female reproductive system contains two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs ova as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen.

Risk and protection factors of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is among the 3 most common gynecologic cancers, along with cervical and endometrial cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 75 women will have ovarian cancer in their lifetime, about 22, women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and about 14, will die from it in Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer-related deaths in women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

Ovarian Cancer

The risk of developing ovarian cancer in the course of their lifetime for the general population of women is two per cent. However, some women have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. All women should be aware of the risk factors and of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

There is no way to know for sure if you will get ovarian cancer.


What Causes Ovarian Cancer?



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