Ovary is the primary organ in the female reproductive system. Each women has two ovaries that produce eggs and hormones namely estrogen and progesterone.
Ovarian cancer is one of the commonest forms of cancer in women. It is the fifth deadliest cancer for women. Among the cancers affecting the pelvic region in women like the cervix, uterus, ovary it accounts for the highest number of deaths.
The risk fator for this type of cancer include a family history of ovarian cancer, older age over 60, menopause, reproductive history and overweight especially after menopause. The women with a close relative or A family history of breast cancer which may suggest an anomaly in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes also makes you more prone to ovarian cancer. Woman who has a personal history of breast cancer is also at risk. Someone who has undergone radiography for other diseases has an increased risk because of her earlier exposure to the radiations. Being overweight especially the ones with a BMI of more than 30 after menopause also increases the chance of ovarian cancer. The women who have begun menstruating in early age have higher risk of ovarian cancer. Even more than average alcohol consumption has been linked with breast cancer. Using contraceptive pill for a minimum of three to six months shrinks the risk of ovarian cancer. The fertility treatments and pills significantly increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Hormone therapy like androgen therapy also slightly increases the chance of ovarian cancer. Endometriosis is a condition which increases the chances of ovarian cancer.
There are four distinct stages of ovarian cancer. In the first stage cancer cells have affected the ovary but not have spread to other areas. In the second stage of the cancer, the cancer has started to spread to the other ovary, pelvic structures such as uterus, vagina, fallopian tube, rectum and cervix. In the third stage, the cancer has spread to the lining of the stomach. In the fourth stage, the cancer is not limited to the pelvic and abdominal region but has spread to liver spleen and other orangs of the body. Knowing the stage of ovarian cancer greatly allows a doctor in prognosis and the follow ups for the treatment.
The medical facility for providing ovarian cancer surgery in India should have certain qualities such as a proper medical team which should consist of an oncologist, pathologist and gynecologist. It should be accessible by ambulance and also within the range of your residence.
If you see the classic symptoms of early ovarian cancer like, back pain, indigestion, frequent urination with occasional leaks, pain during intercourse, constipation without any particular reason, less appetite or pain in the pelvic region, you must contact your doctor immediately. He may suggest blood tests, MRI and ultrasound to detect the cancer. The confirmatory test is always a biopsy. The treatment for ovarian cancer consists of hormone therapy, targeted therapy for early stages and chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. Surgery is usually the first and most preferred option. There are preventive treatments like oophorectomy or the removal of ovaries.