About the disease
Ovarian cancer affects female reproductive organs that are responsible for producing such hormones as estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is more common in women aged 60-70 years. 80% of cases occur after the menopause. Most commonly, pathology manifests itself only as a cyst that grows slowly and gradually transforms into a malignant tumor.
If the cancer has been found in beginning stage of its development, survival rate is very impressive - up to 94%. Second stage has 50 and 70% of survival and the third stage has indicators of 35%. Naturally, the sooner pathology is diagnosed, the better is the prognosis in long turn.
According to ScienceDaily, which is an American scientific newspaper, researchers from the University of Yale found mutation genes, that contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. These findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to research conducted by Yale professors only specific gene mutations can contribute to the development of carcinosarcomas. It means that now diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be done in most cases on time if a person knows she has genetic predisposition to this disease and gets examined on a regular basis.
- Pain in the abdomen aggravated after the slightest physical exertion
- Pain after intercourse
- Pain during the menstrual cycle
- Strange fluid in the abdominal area
- Enlarged abdomen which indicates tumor growth on the ovaries
- Weight loss
- Hair growth on the breast. This is due to the fact that the tumor can produce the hormonal changes that provoke hair growth in abnormal places
- Bleeding from the uterine not related to menstruation
- No appetite during the meals
- Stool disturbances
- Nausea which appears without any reason
- Overly fast saturation during meals, when the patients can not eat any more food after only few bites
- Doctors usually use either scan or ultrasound for diagnosis of ovarian cancer. These methods can help doctors identify and assess nature of tumor. Doctors also need to check medical history of a patient to analyze previously transferred gynecological diseases and understand if a patient has hereditary predisposition. He can ask you about your menstruation cycle and number of pregnancies. Naturally, women are required to undergo gynecological examination combined with bimanual investigation.
- Sometimes diagnosis is done by laparoscope, which is a special diagnostic method when a doctor makes a small incision, inserts laparoscope into peritoneum and examines ovaries. If there is benign cyst, its removal is not required. If there is cancerous malformation surgical intervention is necessary.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy is a removal of fallopian tube and ovaries.
- Lymphadenectomy is a resection of affected lymph nodes.
- Once surgery is performed, patient is prescribed radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The purpose of these procedures is possible destruction of cancer cells, that were not removed during the surgery.
- Some doctors use a combination of surgery and three courses of chemotherapy.
- Nowadays radiosurgery, which is one of the most modern treatment techniques, is also gaining the popularity. This method is practically painless and bloodless as it does not damage female`s healthy tissue. In place of neoplastic cells radioactive rays are directed through the so-called gamma-knife. The exact location of the tumor in this case must be calculated very precisely. But this method is only applicable only for small tumors. Chemotherapy is conducted on average over three or four (or more) courses. The first course is done immediately after surgery and subsequent one after two months.