The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They produce a woman's eggs and female hormones. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond.

Cancer of the ovary is not common, but it causes more deaths than other female reproductive cancers. The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better your chance for recovery. But ovarian cancer is hard to detect early. Women with ovarian cancer may have no symptoms or just mild symptoms until the disease is in an advanced stage. Then it is hard to treat. Symptoms may include

  • A heavy feeling in the pelvis
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Abnormal periods
  • Unexplained back pain that gets worse
  • Gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite

To diagnose ovarian cancer, doctors do one or more tests. They include a physical exam, a pelvic exam, lab tests, ultrasound, or a biopsy. Treatment is usually surgery followed by chemotherapy.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The following features are indicative of Ovarian Cancer:
  • abdominal bloating
  • weight loss
  • discomfort in the pelvis area
  • changes in bowel habits
  • frequent need to urinate
  • quickly feeling full when eating
It is possible that Ovarian Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Ovarian Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Ovarian Cancer:
  • genetic mutation

Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Ovarian Cancer:
  • ages 50 to 60 years
  • inherited gene mutation
  • smoking
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • use of an intrauterine device
  • fertility treatment
  • never being pregnant
  • estrogen hormone replacement therapy

Prevention of Ovarian Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Ovarian Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • using oral contraceptives
  • consulting a genetic counselor if you have family history of breast and ovarian cancers

Occurrence of Ovarian Cancer

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Ovarian Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Ovarian Cancer most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Ovarian Cancer most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Female

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Ovarian Cancer:
  • Pelvic examination: To look for abnormalities in your genital
  • Imaging tests: To determine the size, shape and structure of your ovaries
  • Blood test: To detect protein (CA 125) found on the surface of ovarian cancer cells
  • Surgery: To diagnose the ovarian cancer

Doctor for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
  • Gynecologist
  • General practitioner
  • Gynecologic oncologist

Complications of Ovarian Cancer if untreated

Yes, Ovarian Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Ovarian Cancer is left untreated:
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Ovarian Cancer:
  • Surgery: Preserves the ability to have children by removing one ovary and its fallopian tube
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy the remaining cancer cells

Patient Support for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

The following actions may help Ovarian Cancer patients:
  • Find someone to talk with: Discuss your feelings with a friend or family member makes you feel comfortable
  • Let people help: By knowing the cancer treatments
  • Set reasonable goals: Gives you a sense of purpose
  • Take time for yourself: Helps in combating the stress and fatigue of cancer

Time for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Ovarian Cancer to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Ovarian Cancer.

Related Topics

Ovarian Disorders

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