Ovarian cancer, which is the 8th most common cancer in women in the United States, refers to any cancerous growth that occurs in the ovary, and majority of this growth usually arises from the epithelium of the ovary.
In the early stages of this cancer, many women do not show any symptom, and in some cases, very few symptoms are shown, some of which include:
- Back pain
- Pain in the pelvis
- Indigestion/heart burn
- Pain on the lower side of the body
- Pain during sex
- Pain in the abdomen
- Easily filled when eating
- Frequent urination
- Changes in bowel habits
These symptoms are usually shown at the early stage of ovarian cancer. However, as it progresses, symptoms like weight loss, nausea, loss of appetite, breathlessness, and so on, are shown.
Noticing ovarian cancer at its early stage plays a great role in determining just how the condition ends up eventually. Studies have shown that getting diagnosed with ovarian cancer helps in many ways.
Once you spot some of those symptoms mentioned above, it is best you see a doctor as soon as possible, before it becomes aggravated and you have little or no control over it.
Getting diagnosed with ovarian cancer will help you determine what steps to take next and how to go about the whole thing as soon as you can. Although ovarian cancer is found in about 3% of women with cancer, studies have shown it to be the top leading cause of death in cancers that have to do with the female reproductive system. Diagnosis reduces your risk of death as you still have the opportunity to go for certain treatments as needed.
For the diagnosis, the doctor will have to carry out a vaginal examination, and look out for any abnormalities in the ovaries or uterus. The doctor is also likely to check medical history or family history to come to a conclusion on the diagnosis. Thereafter, the stage and grade of the cancer is identified, to determine the best treatment that will be needed.
In all, blood tests, ultrasound, laparoscopy, MRI, CT scan, colonoscopy, and abdominal fluid aspiration, are the tests used in the diagnosis.
Treatment include: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
Personal Story of a Cancer Survivor
- Nanny: “My story I guess begins in January 2008. I am a grandmother raising 3 granddaughters, I ran a day-care home and I knew that I had 4-7 hernias in my stomach. I started having a lot of pain. After children were picked up my husband took me to the ER. I had many tests and they kept me from Wednesday-Friday. I finally gave them permission to do surgery to repair the hernias, I stayed in hospital for one week; since I had staples I had to go back the following week to remove them. The doctor asked me if I wanted the good news first or the bad news. I had no idea what the doctor meant, he told me he had found a tumor and removed it and sent it for biopsy. The result came back stage 4 Ovarian-Peritoneal Cancer. I had to go the next week to see a gynecologist. They ordered a CT scan and some bloodwork and said I needed to start chemo. I was terrified but was ready to fight. I had many people and churches praying and I totally gave it to the Lord. I went through 4 cycles of chemo, lost 30 lbs. but got through it. All blood tests, CA-125 and CT scans are within normal range. I go see my oncologist at the end of Dec 2009, hoping all is within normal range. I will tell you please don’t give up and stay strong because miracles do happen.”
image couresy: health.usnews.com, motto.time.com.