Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have 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, progesterone. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have 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, progesterone and testosterone. Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer are not specific to the disease, and they often mimic those of many other more-common conditions, including digestive and bladder problems. When ovarian cancer symptoms are present, they tend to be persistent and worsen with time.
There are no specific symptoms of the ovarian cancer. They are very similar to other diseases like digestive or bladder problems. However, they worsen with time.
It is very important that an early diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer is made for complete treatment of the patient and better quality of life.
Few of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer may include:
- Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
- Pelvic discomfort or pain
- Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
- Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
- Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
- A persistent lack of energy
- Low back pain
There are four stages of ovarian cancer. Your doctor will determine your stage of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is treated differently depending on which stage you are diagnosed with.
The cancer is completely contained within the ovary or ovaries:
• Stage IA- One ovary involved
• Stage IB- Both ovaries involved
• Stage IC- One or both ovaries involved, but with cancer on the surface of an ovary, rupture of an ovarian cyst malignant ascites or positive abdominal washings.
The cancer is in one or both of the ovaries and has spread to additional organs located in the pelvis such as the bladder, colon, rectum or uterus.
• Stage IIA - Spread to uterus or fallopian tubes
• Stage IIB - Spread to pelvic peritoneum
• Stage IIC - Confined to the pelvis, but with malignant ascites or positive abdominal washings
The cancer is in one or both ovaries and has spread to one or both of the following: the lining of the abdomen or the lymph nodes.
• Stage IIIA - Microscopic spread to the upper abdomen
• Stage IIIB - Cancer nodules less than 2 cm in the abdomen
• Stage IIIC - Nodules more than 2 cm, or positive pelvic or aortic lymph nodes
The most advanced stage of cancer. The cancer has spread from one or both ovaries to additional organs such as the liver or lungs, or there may be cancer cells in the fluid surrounding the lungs.
A pelvic exam is performed for examining rectum, vagina and lower abdomen for growths or masses. If the growths are visible on ovaries then certain other tests are also performed for producing detailed images of the ovaries. Some of the tests include –
• Exploratory Surgery : This surgery is performed for confirming the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
• Ultrasound : High-frequency sound waves are produced in order to get precise images of the structures inside the body.
• Blood Tests: CA 125 blood test is performed for those women who are suspected of having ovarian cancer or previously had ovarian cancer. This blood test helps in detecting a protein antigen that can be found at abnormally high levels in the blood serum of those women who have ovarian cancer.
• Positron Emission Tomographic Scan (PET) : This test helps in defining those areas that altered blood supply and also helps in identifying cancer.
• Upper G.I. and Lower G.I. Scopy: It helps in ruling out the primary cancer present in G.I. tract.
• CT scan: This helps in generating two dimensional images of the body that may show whether the cancer has spread.
• Mammography: Metastatic tumors can be ruled out with this test.
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Magnetic energy is used for generating highly detailed images of the anatomy such as tumors.
Three types of surgeries are involved in treating ovarian cancer such as:
• Laparoscopy : Gynaeoncologist perform laparotomy through a large abdominal incision, most often removing your ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, nearby lymph glands, a fold of fatty tissue called the omentum and as much of the tumor as possible.
• Frozen Section Tissue Analysis : The rapid analysis of the tissue is done under a microscope. The nature of the tumor is determined as whether it is cancerous or non-cancerous that also helps surgeons to perform a suitable procedure during the first surgery.
• Laparotomy : This procedure is used by making a large abdominal incision. This incision is done for removing uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes surrounding lymph glands, omentum (a fold of fatty tissue) and tumor. Cytoreductive or debulking surgery is another name for this surgery.
After surgery, you'll most likely be treated with chemotherapy - drugs designed to kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy may also be used as the initial treatment in some women with advanced ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy drugs can be administered in a vein (intravenously) or injected directly into the abdominal cavity, or both methods of administering the drugs can be used. Chemotherapy drugs can be given alone or in combination.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. The use of radiation therapy to treat ovarian cancer has declined in recent years, but Gyneconcologist use it in certain cases, such as when patient have a recurrence of cancer at the original site or if she can't tolerate chemotherapy. Gyneconcologist may use whole abdominal radiation to treat ovarian cancer that remains or recurs in the abdomen.
Indian Hospitals gives women with ovarian cancer access to the latest in cancer treatment. For example, Indian surgeons use fertility-sparing surgery, minimally and robotic surgery in select cases, when app minimally invasive surgery — also called laparoscopic surgery — for several conditions. In minimally invasive procedures, your doctor makes one or more incisions, each about a half-inch long, to insert a tube. The number of incisions depends on the type of surgery. The tube or tubes let the doctor slip in tiny video cameras and specially designed surgical instruments to perform the procedure.
When you have minimally invasive surgery, you're likely to lose less blood and have less postoperative pain, fewer and smaller scars, and a faster recovery than you would after open surgery. Depending on your condition, you may need only a short hospital stay. For some conditions, your doctor may recommend robotic surgery. That technology gives your doctor great precision, flexibility and control by providing a magnified, 3-D view of the surgical site.
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