Ovarian cancer is a kind of cancer that starts at the ovaries. It is also known as a ‘Silent Killer’ since the symptoms that are seen do not cause any kind of harm until it has reached a very advanced stage. It becomes undetected until it reaches and spreads till the pelvis and abdomen. It gets difficult to treat at such a stage and is often fatal. When the cancer cells are identified and confined only to the ovaries, it is possible to treat.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
When cancer symptoms are present in the ovaries they become persistent and tend to become worse during the course of time.
Types of Ovarian Cancer:
Epithelial Tumour – This type of cancer is common and as per statistics, 90% of ovarian cancers are epithelial tumours. This begins in the thin layer of tissue that covers the ovaries.
Stromal Tumour – This kind of tumour can be diagnosed at the early stage of cancer than compared to the other ovarian cancers. As per statistics, around 7% of the ovarian cancers are stromal. This kind of tumour begins in the ovarian tissue which contains hormone-producing cells.
Germ Cell Tumours – This particular tumour occurs in young girls when they are children or in their teens and tends to begin the egg-producing cells.
Test and Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer:
The doctor starts with a pelvic examination to check the vagina, uterus, rectum and bladder for uterine cancer. A device known as the speculum is used to widen the vagina so the doctor can clearly see the upper portion of the vagina and the cervix.
The doctor also recommends other investigations such as CT scan or Ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis, which determines the size and structure of the ovaries. Along with various other blood tests CA 125 is also done specifically which helps to identify a protein on the surface of the ovarian cancer cells, the doctor recommends PAP smear and a biopsy to be done to collect samples of cells and tissue.