10 Important Warning Signs Of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is also known as “silent killer” because the symptoms are subtle and look like common symptoms of menstruation. Ovarian cancer is a cancer that forms in an ovary. It results in abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body.
When this process begins, there may be no or only vague symptoms. Symptoms become more noticeable as the cancer progresses. These symptoms may include bloating, pelvic pain, abdominal swelling, and loss of appetite, among others. Common areas to which the cancer may spread include the lining of the abdomen, lining of the bowel and bladder, lymph nodes, lungs, and liver.
The risk of ovarian cancer increases in women who have ovulated more over their lifetime. This includes those who have never had children, those who begin ovulation at a younger age or reach menopause at an older age. Other risk factors include hormone therapy after menopause, fertility medication, and obesity.
Factors that decrease risk include hormonal birth control, tubal ligation, and breast feeding. About 10% of cases are related to inherited genetic risk; women with mutations in the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 have about a 50% chance of developing the disease. The most common type of ovarian cancer, comprising more than 95% of cases, is ovarian carcinoma.
There are five main subtypes of ovarian carcinoma, of which high-grade serous carcinoma is the most common. These tumors are believed to start in the cells covering the ovaries, though some may form at the Fallopian tubes. Less common types of ovarian cancer include germ cell tumors and sex cord stromal tumors.
There is still no right screening test that will detect ovarian cancer at early stages. It is found at a late stage because there are only several symptoms that can show that something is not right. Women feel symptoms similar to menstrual or bowel sluggishness but actually is mild congestion in the pelvis or lower abdominal bloating.
With the age, the risk of ovarian cancer can increase. This cancer death rate is the highest in women than any other cancer. So that’s why you should never ignore all suspicious symptoms that last more than two weeks. Visit your doctor and do not accept if they say that you have an inflammatory bowel syndrome or digestive problems, or your symptoms are normal menstrual symptoms. Ask for a meticulous and thorough exam.
The right way is to do a manual pelvic exam and transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. Also, you can check your blood including CA 125 and HE4.
Try to seek for a gynecologic specialist if it is possible. There are doctors specialized for women cancer (gynecologic oncologist and gynecologic oncology surgeons).