Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women. It is the deadliest form of female reproductive cancer which threatens the fertility and life of a woman. It also has no age bias. Even though the majority of women who develop it are older, younger women are still prone.
An overview of ovarian cancer
Younger women are more likely to have the hereditary kind of ovarian cancer. Genetics play a role in this type, and that’s why it is important to check your family history and carry out regular check-ups. Also, women who carry the mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with b****t cancer are at a higher risk.
Another type of ovarian cancer is the epithelial type. Nimesh Nagarsheth, MD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says,
“The epithelial ovarian cancers are the more commons ones that we hear and talk about, which generally occur later in life.”
Usually, making a diagnosis is difficult in its early stage. This is because the ovaries are small and located deep in the abdomen, making it hard for the doctor to feel any growth. In addition, there’s room in the abdomen and pelvis for the organs to move around while the cancer grows.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not noticeable in the early stage. But when caught early, 94% of women will survive longer than five years. However, it isn’t usually noticed until it reaches its later stage (stage 3 or 4). Symptoms become noticeable when the growth begins to put pressure on the bladder, uterus and rectum.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain or cramping
- Feeling full quickly after starting to eat or lack of appetite
- Indigestion or upset stomach
- The need to urinate more frequently or urgently than normal
- A pressure in the lower back or pelvis
- Unexplained exhaustion
- Back pain
- Increase abdominal girth or abdominal swelling
- Painful s*x
- Menstrual changes
- Weight loss
However, these could be symptoms of some other conditions. But, if you experience any suddenly and for longer than 2 weeks, you should see your gynaecologist.
Risk factors of ovarian cancer
There’s no rule about when cancer grows. That is why it’s vital you take precautions. It’s often caused by any of a number of risk factors. Risk factors that may make some people more likely to develop ovarian cancer than others include:
- A family history of b****t, ovarian, or uterine cancer
- Having Lynch syndrome
- Never being pregnant
- Some fertility and hormone medications
- Age. Most cases develop after menopause.
To reduce your risk of ovarian cancer, consider taking birth control pills. Getting pregnant is also another way of reducing the risk of getting this cancer type. It’s better to take precautions than to regret. Call your doctor today.