Monday, December 27, 2010

Women's Health: The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer

The cancer begins in the ovaries the two twin organs that produce the women’s eggs and the main source of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Treatment for it has been effective in recent years and have greater results if you catch the disease early.

The signs of this disease are:

Pain in the abdominal
Bloating and pressure in the belly
Pain in pelvis
Feeling full too quickly during meals
Urinating more frequently

The signs also could be from another medical condition, if they persist daily over several weeks consult your physician. The woman odds of developing cancer is higher if she has a family history of breast, colon and ovarian cancer. If you have a strong family history check with your doctor for a medical follow up.

Age is a strong risk factor, ovarian cancer is more likely to develop after a woman goes through menopause. Using postmenopausal hormone therapy may increase your risk. It seems that the risk of getting it is stronger when taking estrogen without progesterone for over 5 to 10 years.

Obesity plays a factor as well, women who are very heavy have higher chance of ovarian cancer. Death rates are increased to in obese women with the disease. There are two ways to screen for it and that is a blood test to your protein levels and a ultrasound on your ovaries. CT scans and ultrasounds can determine whether it is cancerous or not.

The stages of it are:

Stage 1: confined to one or both ovaries
Stage 2: spread to ovaries and uterus
Stage 3: spread to lymph nodes or abdominal lining
Stage 4: spread to distant organs such as the liver or lungs

The majority of the tumors are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. These are malignant tumors that form on the surface of the ovary. Some are not clearly cancerous. The survival rate for this type of condition can be frightening it usually ranges from 89% to 18% with epithelial cancer, it depends on where the cancer was located. Keep in mind that these statistics are from 1988 to 2001.

Surgery is needed to diagnose ovarian cancer and its stage. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible or if the doctors have to they may have to remove the ovaries. Chemotherapy is usually given after surgery, which is used to kill the remaining cancers that may be lurking in your body. The medicine can be given through a IV, the mouth or straight through the belly. For women who tumors were not serious, chemotherapy is not needed unless they grow back.

Researchers are working on therapies that target the way ovarian cancer grows according to WebMD. A process called angiogenesis involves the formation of new blood vessels to feed tumors. A drug called Avastin blocks this process, causing tumors to decrease and stop growing. Avastin is used for other cancers, but for ovarian cancer the researchers are still testing.

For women who have had their ovaries removed they can no longer produce estrogen and this causes them to go into early menopause. The drop in hormone levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis. After treatment many find that they suffer from fatigue, getting involved with gentle exercises slowly increase your energy levels and your emotional well-being.

Risk reducer
Also women who have had biological children are less likely to get ovarian cancer than women who have never given birth. The risk decreases with every pregnancy and breastfeeding offers added protection. Women who take birth control pill have a lesser chance of getting ovarian cancer, the pill reduces ovulation which helps prevent the cancer.

Tubaligation may offer protection against it as well. And having a hysterectomy will also reduce the risk, removing the ovaries in women over the age of 40 is a good option too. What you eat can make a difference as well, a low-fat diet that is maintained for at least four years has shown great results in lowering the risk of the disease.

If you have any of these symptoms contact your doctor immediately. Your health is your wealth.

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