Ovarian cancer is very often diagnosed late. That is why it is second most common gynecological cancer that has highest mortality rate and mostly affects women from Europe (particularly Eastern and Northern Europe). Nearly 250.000 women get cancer each year. Only half live up to 5 years from day when diagnosed cancer. Reason is because cancer is discovered too late. If detected on time even 95% of women can be saved. This cancer often develops in 50s or older, but also can appear in women at any age. Higher rate of ovarian cancer is in developed countries, while Asian and African-American women are at slightly lower risk than white skin women.
Symptoms and Signs
The bad news about this case of cancer is there are no early signs and its common name is – silent killer. Women don’t know if they have it. Also may have symptoms that are not linked with this cancer all the way until the cancer gets advanced stage.
Here are some symptoms that can be warning signs of ovarian cancer:
- Frequent urinating/ pelvic pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Constipation or a feeling of fullness after a light meal, indigestion, gases, bloating, abdominal discomfort and cramps.
- Pain during intercourse
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained weight gain / loss
- Vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal period
- Strange unexplained changes in the bowel
- Swelling/abdominal pain
- Northern Europe White women
- Women who have never been pregnant or had children
- Women who had breast cancer
- Women older than 50-half of patients are women over 65.
- Women with family history of ovarian, breast, colon cancer or prostate, endometrial
- Women that never been pregnant or had children
- Women who have a close relative (mother, sister, daughter) that are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
- Women with genetic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Also this doesn’t mean that every woman with these mutations will get ovarian cancer
There is no precise test, unfortunately, that can reliably specify if there is ovarian cancer in early stage. Various ray procedures and careful bimanual examination and also diagnostic laparoscopy can be used.It is also used transvaginal ultrasound for checking woman’s reproductive organs.
CA-125 blood test is used for indicating level of CA-125, a tumor marker and low GI arrangement or barium bowel purge include using X-rays to highlight other organs.
Woman need to be responsible. Also must be their gynecologist. Regular checkups must be done, especially if bloated.
Women that are genetically predisposed to this disease must do regular tests although there is none that is completely reliable. Also women in menopause should use fewer hormones for alleviating menopause symptoms.
There are several symptoms, but doctors usually advise women to do a surgery of tubes, uterus and ovaries removal. Also other tissues in the abdomen and pelvis as well as colon parts should be removed in case the cancer has spread.
Chemotherapy is usually done after surgery to stop cancer to retur. In severe cases chemotherapy is done just before the operation and if disease comes back then chemotherapy is used again.
There are a lot of target-therapies. Most of them are based on platinum agents. Great specialists from all over the world using antibodies that delay blood flow toward cancer cells. Hyperthermic peritoneal chemotherapy during surgery has shown as a positive procedure.This procedure makes chemotherapy through vein goes directly in abdominal cavity.
Radiotherapy is hardly ever used against this type cancer. It is only used in late stage to relieve pain and prevent the bleeding.