[toc]Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in different parts of the ovary. More than 90% of the women were believed to suffer from epithelial ovarian cancer. This is a form of cancer which arises from the epithelium (outer surface) of the ovary. However, studies now indicate that ovarian cancer could also arise from the Fallopian tubes.
There are four different stages of ovarian cancer. Each stage indicates how far the cancer cells have been able to spread. The chances of survival are more if the cancer is diagnosed in the 1st and 2nd stage. The 4th stage is the advanced stage in which the cancer cells have spread to both the ovaries and is now spreading further to other organs of the body like lungs, kidney and abdomen.
Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are non-specific. They are common to the signs and symptoms of other digestive disorders. Women with ovarian cancer complain of symptoms such as pain or discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, urinary urgency, fatigue, constipation and other non specific symptoms. Sometimes women also report more specific symptoms such as pain the pelvis, unusual bleeding in the vagina or sudden loss of weight. Fluid can also get accumulated in the abdominal cavity.
It should be remembered that the traits or the symptoms of ovarian cancer are very similar to other disorders. However, these may be mistaken for other problems. Unlike regular disorders, the symptoms of ovarian cancer only get worse with time. For instance, if you feel pain in the stomach and upper or lower abdomen, it suffices or reduces over days and weeks, before going away completely. But with ovarian cancer, it advances steadily. Earlier symptoms include pain in the tummy, sides, pelvis, back, etc. Indigestion, pain during intercourse and excessive urination follow suit.
In the later stages of the cancer, one will notice that none of the earlier symptoms have gone. They only seem to get worse. This is followed with some new symptoms like loss of appetite, which is again due to stomach problems getting worse. Then there is a lot of nausea and loss of weight because the individual is not able to eat properly. Later on this results in fatigue and dizziness as the internal strength of the individual diminishes.
Causes Of Ovarian Cancer
The exact cause of ovarian cancer is still unknown. Women who have a history of ovarian or breast cancer in the family are at risk. Infertile women, those who have not been able to conceive a baby and those who consume post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy have higher chances of being affected. Here are some common causes of the same-
History Of Cancer
Women who had relatives with history of ovarian cancer like their mothers, sisters, aunts, etc. are more likely to suffer from cancer of the ovaries due to genetics and hormonal factors. The problem here is in the genes rather than external factors.
Age And Menopause
With age, ovaries tend to get weaker and also because of menopausal factors. The chances of getting ovarian cancer due to menopausal causes are much higher. It also depends on the ovulation cycle of the women. Those who were never pregnant have higher risks of developing this cancer, which is another cause.