Ovarian cancer is the rapid uncontrolled division of the cells in the ovaries which is a reproductive organ in women. These cancer cells also destroy the healthy tissues in the surroundings. Every female has two ovaries one on each side of the uterus that produces eggs. These ovaries also secrete some chemicals known as hormones, that perform normal functions in the body. When there is uncontrolled division of the cells in the ovaries. They cause abnormal function in the body and cause symptoms of pain, swelling and more. But it can vary from individual to individual. Ovarian cancer is most common in the age group of 50-60 years among women. There are many types of ovarian cancer, and type of ovarian cancer is defined on the basis of the type of cells involved. Like any other cancer, ovarian cancer can also be prevented by the healthy lifestyle and use of birth control pills but it should be used with precautions due to its own risk factors. In early stages of ovarian cancer, it is very difficult to detect the cancer because symptoms are not specific so it may spread to more advanced stages of disease where no treatment can cure the ovarian cancer. The death due to ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of death in women.
The types of treatment used for ovarian cancer are:
The drugs that kill cancer cells anywhere in the body are either taken orally or injection to the veins. It may be used alone or with other treatment options like radiation therapy. It can also be used in combination with other treatments to cure ovarian cancer. Some of the drugs are:
The high energy x-rays are used to kill cancerous cell is often given with two ways:
External Beam Radiation Therapy: The procedure is very much like the x-ray examination but the dose of the x-rays is quite stronger. It is often used with chemotherapy.
Internal Beam Radiation Therapy: a radioactive material is placed in the cavity to kill cancer cells. It may be given as low dose for some days in the indoor department or can be given in high dose for months in an outpatient department in hospitals.
The drugs to enhance the body’s natural defense system against cancer cells are used in this treatment. It can be taken as oral medications and intravenous injections. Some of the drugs are:
These drugs may be given to block the nutrients to cancer cells and attack their environment in which they grow. They may be used to limit the blood supply in cancer. These drugs are:
Surgery is usually the first line of treatment for ovarian cancer. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The extent of surgery will depend on the stage of disease or the nature of the cancer cells. It may involve removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus which is also known as hysterectomy.
Here are some diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer are:
The gynecologists usually examine the vulva, vagina and the internal structures like cervix and uterus to see any changes in these structures. Any abnormality is then noticed and reported.
It is the removal of a portion of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other tests can give the idea that cancer may exist, but biopsy can make an obvious diagnosis.
An intravenous urography is an x-ray that is used to view the inside of the cervix, ovary and vagina. It gives the picture of appearance of the structure and hence gives the idea if any abnormal mass is present.
An MRI uses magnetic fields to produce clear images of the body. MRI can be used to measure the size of the tumor. A special dye like contrast medium is used before the scan to clearly find the results.
A blood test may be done to measure levels of a tumor marker for ovarian cancer called CA-125. Elevated CA-125 levels can be due to the presence of ovarian cancer.
The cost of ovarian cancer treatment in India ranges from 1200 USD-8000 USD. It may vary according to the type of treatment for specific individuals. It can also vary according to the hospitals’ facilities and skill of a surgeon.
Cost of different treatment types for ovarian cancer in India:
|Treatment Costs in India||Min in USD||Max in USD|
|Chemotherapy||532 USD||710 USD|
|Ovarian Cancer Surgery||3463 USD||4617 USD|
|Radiation therapy||2400 USD||7200 USD|
|Others||1212 USD||2486 USD|
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are not the same for every individual. Some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
There are certain risk factors of ovarian cancer described below:
The risk of ovarian cancer increases as women age. This is particularly higher after the age of 40.
A positive family history of ovarian cancer increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer like other cancers of the body.
Inherited gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are strongly associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Previous personal history of breast, colorectal, or uterine cancer is associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Long-term use of medications involving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) , which have only estrogen therapy without progesterone, may slightly increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
The infertility and women with no pregnancies are at the higher risk of ovarian cancer than the women who have been pregnant.
Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Smoking cigarettes and inhaling other chemicals which are harmful for the body, has been associated with a higher risk of certain types of ovarian cancer.
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