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Ovarian Cancer : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Ovarian Cancer is found in women above the age of 60 in western countries.

But in India, the average age of the patients is around 50 years.

In some cases, this age is even 40 or 45 years. The younger age of the patients quickly spread a cause of concern.

So it’s very important to be aware of the causes, symptoms and treatment options for ovarian Cancer.

Let’s begin.

Causes of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer originates from the ovary or the fallopian tube of a woman patient. Later, it spreads upwards into the stomach or abdominal cavity.

Hormonal imbalance is considered one of the most common causes of Ovarian Cancer. This imbalance causes the growth of cancerous cells, resulting in a tumour.

In 10% of cases, ovarian Cancer can be genetic too. In some patients, other cancers like hereditary breast cancer might accompany ovarian Cancer.

This is known as Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome. It also includes other cancers like Cancer of the oesophagus or pancreas cancer.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

PET scan machine for caner

The commonest symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are:

  • Abdominal pain
  •  Gas
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Stress
  • Vomiting or nausea in some people who have tumours developed in  their intestine

You may want to know about, Importance Of PET Scan In Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosis of the Ovarian Cancer

We diagnose ovarian Cancer with the help of Sonography and CT scans. For the final confirmation, we take the biopsy of the patient.

Unfortunately, Ovarian  Cancer shows symptoms only after spreading. And when it reaches the stomach and starts showing symptoms, it has already reached the third stage.

In fact, Ovarian Cancer is diagnosed in almost 50% of patients at the third stage, which is very worrying.

Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

In most cases, we prefer using Chemotherapy first. But if ovarian Cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, there is an option for surgery too.

But almost every patient will need Chemotherapy after the surgery.

In patients who are diagnosed at the third stage, we have to reduce the Cancer with the help of Chemotherapy first.

Once Chemotherapy is done, we proceed with the surgery, and then the next Chemotherapy is arranged.

At Sahyadri Hospital, we use targeted Chemotherapy. It is one of the most advanced forms of Chemotherapy. We also give some specialized oral medications to patients with hereditary Cancer to prevent its return.

Similarly, surgery for ovarian Cancer has evolved too.

Apart from routine cytoreductive surgery, we use Hipec surgery. In this procedure, we release chemotherapy drugs in the stomach after the surgery.

These drugs eliminate any remaining cancer cells in the stomach.

Apart from this, we can eliminate and prevent the recurrence of Cancer by using Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and oral medications.

Still, up to 40% to 50% of Cancer do return. In such cases, we use Chemotherapy and targeted therapy to give the patient a prolonged and good quality of life.

Wrapping Up

It’s very important to stay aware of the hereditary Cancer in your family. If there are multiple cancer patients in your family, get in touch with a geneticist.

He/she will help you determine your risk exposure with certain blood tests and take preventive steps.

We hope this guide has cleared all your doubts related to ovarian Cancer.

In case if you need any more information or assistance, feel free to reach out to our experts. We will be happy to assist.

About Author

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Dr. Tushar Patil

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