Ovarian cancer

Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadliest cancer among women, responsible for around 1,40,000 deaths each year. It is seen that only 20-30 percent of the women with the ovarian cancer survive for even 5 years. The lack of good routine test to detect the cancer and absence of symptoms often makes the disease persuades silently to an advanced stage, and hence is often referred as “silent killer”.

Who are at risk of developing ovarian cancer?

The studies have shown that there is no proven factor related to ovarian cancer, which further implies that all women are at risk. There are a few factors like age (>55years), family history, obesity and women having less number of children which are weakly associated.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

So far, there are no any effective screening test for ovarian cancer. In case you have signs and symptoms, the doctor performs the combination of following test to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Complete pelvic exam.
  • Transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound.
  • CT scans and CA-125 blood test.

The definite test is biopsy, which is used to confirm the diagnosis.

So how can you keep a check on the disease?

If you get to diagnose at an early stage your chances of survival become 70%. So, it is advisable to keep a check at certain symptoms which you might ignore. There are a few warning signs of ovarian cancer on which you can keep an eye check.

Abdominal bloating, swelling and Pressure

Abdominal swelling occurs due to the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. This condition, known as ‘ascites’ generally occurs at an advanced stage of the ovarian cancer. Ascites can occur due to many other factors; hence it is important to look for other coinciding symptoms explained below.

Chronic Pain in the Abdomen or Pelvis

If you are suffering from persistent pain localized in the abdomen or the pelvic region, you should visit the doctor for a check-up. Both ovarian cancer and cysts are associated with pain in abdomen and pelvic.

Feeling full with a little diet

A little diet will make you feel full. This happens because the cancer cells destroy the body hormones which controls metabolism.

Frequent Urination

The women with ovarian cancer have an increased frequency of urination. This is mainly because the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen exerts a pressure on the bladder creating an urge to urinate more often.

Abnormal bowel movements

Ovarian cancer is also linked with abnormal bowel movement, either constipation or diarrhoea. This occurs due to invasion of cancer cells into the abdomen which interferes with normal abdominal functions.

Abnormal Bleeding and pain while having sex

Abnormal bleeding from the usual menstrual days is a matter of concern. Although, vaginal bleeding can occur because of other factors, one of them remains ovarian cancer. So, it is important to communicate such problem with your doctor. Pain during sexual intercourse is another factor linked to ovarian cancer, so if you persistently get to suffer this it is good to have a check- up.

How can you prevent ovarian cancer?

The answer is not easy as the cause remains unexplained. All what you can do is live a healthy lifestyle, eat the right thing, keep your weight under control and for that you need to have a good workout. It is good to have children and do breastfeeding as much as you can. Apart from all these, monitor your body for changes and stay alert.