Ovarian cancer is a condition in which the normal healthy cells of the ovary become cancerous. Ovarian cancer is fifth in the most common death-causing cancer among females. This cancer can also develop in the fallopian tubes (tubes connected to the ovaries). The general treatments for ovarian cancer include chemotherapy and surgery.
Types of Ovarian Cancer
The types of ovarian cancer are:
- Epithelial ovarian cancer: It is the most common type of ovarian cancer and originated from epithelial cells. This cancer first spreads to the lining and organs of the pelvis and abdomen before metastasizing.
- Stromal tumors: The tumors are very rare and arise from stromal tissue cells. These cells produce estrogen and progesterone.
- Germ cell tumor: It is a rare type of cancer that develops from the reproductive cells of the ovaries.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
The symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are:
- Abdominal pain
- Discomfort or bloating in the stomach
- Changes in eating habits
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Abnormal bleeding or vaginal discharge
- Development of unusual lumps
- Increased abdominal size
- Increase urinary frequency
- Weight gain or loss
- Severe back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
If any of these symptoms are experienced for more than 2 weeks, it is important to consult a doctor. At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the top ovarian cancer treatment doctors in Nashik and they are trained to use advanced treatment approaches to treat ovarian cancer patients.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer
The exact cause of ovarian cancer is not clear. However, some factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, such as:
Inheriting BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
Overweight or obesity
Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
Early menstruation and late menopause
Never been pregnant
Already had other cancer like breast, uterine or colorectal cancer.
Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
The following techniques may help in diagnosing ovarian cancer:
- Pelvic exam: The doctor will insert gloved fingers into the vagina and simultaneously press fingers on your abdomen to examine the pelvic organs for any lump or swelling.
- Blood tests: Blood tests will examine the high levels of tumor markers, such as CA-125.
- Imaging tests: The tests include transvaginal ultrasound, MRI scan, or a CT scan to determine any abnormality in the ovaries.
- Biopsy: In this procedure, the doctor takes the sample tissue and sends it to the laboratory for microscopic examination.
- Genetic testing: Genetic testing includes the sampling of blood. The doctor will examine the genetic changes in DNA. These changes may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. It may help the oncologists in deciding the treatment plan.
- Surgery: In some cases, the doctor removes an ovary and sends it to the laboratory for cancer evaluation.
Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, our specialists are trained to deliver the best ovarian cancer treatment in Nashik. Treatment options for ovarian cancer include:
Surgery: The surgery involves the removal of ovaries. The surgery may remove one or both of the ovaries. The doctor may also remove the uterus and the ovaries according to the need for the treatment. The surgery is also useful for the advanced cancer stages. Sometimes doctors may use chemotherapy before the surgical treatment of ovarian cancer.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves anticancer drugs that kill cancer cells. The doctor uses intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. In this procedure, the doctor uses a tube that delivers the drugs directly to the area affected by cancer. Chemotherapy has several adverse effects, such as infection, fatigue, hair loss, poor appetite, diarrhea, constipation, sexual issues, nerve problems, nausea, and vomiting.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy interferes with the vital processes the cancerous cells require to grow. For example, as the cells spread, they form new blood vessels to get nutrients. The drugs under targeted therapy prevent the formation of new blood vessels.
Immunotherapy: The therapy aims to strengthen the body’s immune system to fight against cancer. The cancer cell produces proteins that help cancer cells hide from the immune system. Immunotherapy interferes in the process of forming these proteins.
Hormone therapy: Some types of cancer use estrogen hormone to grow. Hormone therapy utilizes drugs that block the action of estrogen. Blocking estrogen is useful in limiting the growth of ovarian cancer. In addition, hormone therapy may be an option to treat slow-growing cancers.
Palliative care: Palliative care can also be known as supportive care. It is a specialized treatment to relieve pain and other cancer symptoms. The palliative care team aims to improve the quality of life for people with cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will ovarian cancer affect my fertility?
Yes, ovarian cancer may affect your fertility. However, you can opt for a fertility preservation program for having a family in the future. The program includes the preservation of the ovum, in-vitro fertilization, and other advanced reproductive techniques.
What are the common organs affected by ovarian cancer metastasis?
Metastatic ovarian cancer is an advanced ovarian cancer. It can spread to distant areas of the body from the ovary. For example, metastatic ovarian cancer can spread to the liver, the fluid present around the lungs, the spleen, the intestine, the brain, the skin, and the lymph nodes outside the abdomen.
What is the hormonal association between ovarian cancer and breast cancer?
Ovaries are the primary reproductive organs. Ovaries are present in pairs on either side of the woman’s uterus. During the reproductive years, the ovaries produce a female hormone, estrogen. Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle in females. Estrogen also regulates the stimulation of secondary sex characteristics and breast development during puberty. It indicates the hormonal connection between cancers of the ovaries and breast.
Can I get ovarian cancer even after the removal of both ovaries?
The chances of getting ovarian cancer without both ovaries are negligible. However, a rare type of cancer named peritoneal carcinoma can develop without the ovaries. This cancer is closely related to ovarian cancer and has treatment similar to ovarian cancer.