Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Ovaries play a role in the menstrual cycle, fertility, and pregnancy.

Avinash Cancer Clinic    09-May-2023
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May is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and encourage people to take action to prevent and treat the disease. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month aims to spread awareness about this disease and encourage people to take steps to reduce their risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The ovaries are one of two female glands that produce eggs and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones influence feminine characteristics such as breast development, body shape, and body hair. They also play a role in the menstrual cycle, fertility, and pregnancy. Each side of the uterus has one ovary.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous development of cells in the ovaries. The cells grow rapidly and have the ability to penetrate and destroy healthy body tissue.

Approximately 30 different types of ovarian cancer are based on the name of the cell in which the tumor originates. Cancerous ovarian tumors most commonly develop in the epithelial cells, which make up the outer layer of the ovary (epithelial ovarian cancer); in the germ cells, which form eggs (germ cell tumors); or in the stromal cells, which produce and release hormones (ovarian stromal tumors).

In 10 of the 28 Population-Based Cancer Registries, ovarian cancer was classified in the top ten cancers.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and non-specific, which often leads to a delay in diagnosis. Some of the common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling 
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate

Ovarian Cancer

Causes of Ovarian Cancer

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is not known, but several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing the disease. These include:

The exact cause is unknown, numerous factor increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Inherited genetic BRCA mutations on breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) or breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2)
  • Inherited genetic disorders of Lynch syndrome or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Previous breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or endometrial cancer
  • Childbearing status, with the risk declining as a woman has more children
  • Non Breastfeeding mothers
  • Women using oral contraceptives for at least three months at lower risk
  • Gynecologic surgery, with women who have had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy at reduced risk

Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Treatment options for ovarian cancer patients may include:

  • Surgery may involve debulking or the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes or the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), lymph nodes in the area, or the surrounding organs and tissue.
  • Chemotherapy is given orally or intravenously or injected directly into the abdomen through intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
  • Ovarian cortex cryopreservation involves freezing ovarian tissue before treatment so a woman may be able to bear children late.

In conclusion, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is an important opportunity to raise awareness about this deadly disease and encourage women to take action to prevent and treat it. By spreading awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, supporting organizations that provide resources and support to women with the disease, and promoting research into new treatments, we can work together to improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.
For more Cancer-related information, please visit Avinash Cancer Clinic.