Cancer is one of the biggest killers in record today. Ovarian cancer is a very common type of cancer in woman causing a high number of fatalities. One reason could be the late detection of the same. However, there are many telltale signs of ovarian cancer that one should be aware. Many people believe age to be a factor. However, you can observe ovarian cancer among women across all ages. However, statistics do show that 50% of the ovarian cancer patients are over the age of 65 years.
We shall, through this article look at the 10 early warning signs of ovarian cancer among women and look at the causes, diagnosis, and treatment as well.
· There could be indigestion problems such as the formation of gasses, constipation, as well as a feeling of satiation after having a small meal. Certain women also complain of abdominal cramps as well as bloating.
· You may feel the need to urinate frequently and feel the pelvic pressure.
· In case you find an abnormal change in the bowel movements, it is a cause for alarm.
· Usually, women experience nausea and frequent vomiting during such times.
· Your abdomen can swell and become painful.
· Certain women exhibit anorexic feelings by losing their appetite.
· Tiredness is a major cause of ovarian cancer.
· There could be a sudden weight gain or loss.
· You may also experience great pain while you attempt to have sexual intercourse.
· Women in the post-menopausal stage can experience unexplained bleeding in the vaginal region.
Causes of ovarian cancer:
We have seen the symptoms and warning signs of ovarian cancer. However, you cannot restrict the causes of ovarian cancer to the above ten symptoms alone. Ovarian cancer can affect certain categories of women as listed below.
· Color plays an important role. Women from Northern Europe, being extremely white, exhibit greater chances of contracting ovarian cancer.
· Women who have never become pregnant or even those who have never had children are also at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer.
· Age does play its part. Women over 65 years of age are more susceptible than their younger counterparts are.
· Women with a family history of cancers such as those of the breast, colon, or prostate always fall in the high-risk category.
· Statistics show that women with genetic mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 can contract ovarian cancer.
· You should be extremely careful if a close relative has contracted ovarian cancer. Your chances of developing the same increases manifold.
Diagnosis of ovarian cancer:
The main issue with diagnosis is that it is still not possible to detect this ovarian cancer at an early stage. There are methods such as diagnostic laparoscopy, bimanual pelvic examinations etc that aid in detecting the same.
However, the best method of detection is still the ultrasound tests of the abdomen and the lower pelvic region. The CA-125 blood test is a reliable one for detecting the tumor. Doctors also make use of the low GI series or the barium enemas involving a series of X-rays for detection of the same.
However, the main issue is to increase the awareness among women. They should have regular checkups with their gynecologists while maintaining absolute transparency. This becomes all the more important when there is a history of ovarian cancer in the household.
Treatment of ovarian cancer:
There are many methods of treatment in use today.
· Surgery is an option envisaging the surgical removal of the affected parts such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, as well as the omentum. You may also have to remove parts of the colon on specific occasions.
· You have to follow the surgery with bouts of chemotherapy to avoid the recurrence of cancer.
· Nowadays, target therapies are very common using platinum agents. There are methods available where you can slow down the supply of blood to the cancer cells thereby destroying them.
· Doctors also advise direct insertion of chemotherapy inside the abdomen. This method has yielded positive results in many cases.
· In the event of the patient being in the final stages, radiotherapy might be the only option for reducing the pain as well as the bleeding.
Cancer is curable provided you detect the same early. In order to do so, you should be aware of the warning signs of ovarian cancer. This article would have helped you to do so.