Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly cancers of women and is described as a silent killer, because the symptoms are deceptive enough to be ignored.
Early detection is difficult and rare; only 20% of cases fall under this category for doctors to successfully cope with the disease. To date, ovarian cancer remains the fifth most fatal type of cancer among women.
Table of contents:
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer occurs when the cells of the ovary and the far end of the fallopian tube grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body before they are detected.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer:
Ovarian cancer symptoms sneak up on you very thinly. Signs are difficult to distinguish from signs of other conditions.
This is the main cause of failure to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages and can easily be mistaken for other diseases.
However, the signs of ovarian cancer are ominous and must be taken seriously to rule out its frequency and / or facilitate early detection. Symptoms that women feel include:
- Frequent upset stomach, bloating and nausea.
- Sudden change in the shape of appetite.
- Feeling of pressure on the pelvis and lower back.
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- Increased abdominal girth.
- Signs of exhaustion and low energy.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
As the size of the tumors increases, the symptoms progress. Tumors tend to take up more space in the stomach and put pressure on other organs, disrupting their normal body functions.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer:
There is no clarity as to the causes of most cases of ovarian cancer.
However, recent evidence suggests that cancer occurs in the cells at the ends of the fallopian tubes, and not in the ovary itself.
This new discovery gave rise to some new theories about the causes of ovarian cancer and the risk factors associated with its occurrence.
Ovulation: Pregnancy and taking birth control pills reduces the release of eggs from the ovaries, reducing the risk of ovarian cancer.
Surgery: It is known that tubal ligation and hysterectomy reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, as cancer-causing substances do not have access to vulnerable places.
Hormone: Male hormones, such as androgen, are believed to cause ovarian cancer.
Types of ovarian cancer:
Although ovarian cancers were classified into more than 30 different types based on cells of origin, it is known that ovarian tumors most often belong to three cell types:
- Epithelium: integumentary cells of the outer mucous membrane of the ovaries.
- Stem cells: cells that ultimately form eggs.
- Stromal cells: cells that connect the various structures of the ovaries and secrete hormones.
Stages of ovarian cancer:
The stage of ovarian cancer is determined during surgery after confirming diagnosis. Depending on the spread, ovarian cancer was divided into four stages:
- Stage I: Cancer is limited to the ovary or fallopian tube.
- Stage II: Involvement of cancer growth in one or both ovaries with pelvic enlargement.
- Stage III: Involving the growth of cancer in one or both ovaries with the spread beyond the pelvis.
- Stage IV: The spread of cancer growth occurs throughout the body.
Ovarian cancer treatment:
Symptoms such as unexplained weight gain, discomfort in the digestive system, accompanied by abdominal pain, urinary or sexual disorder, require surgical intervention. The course of treatment is determined by the following factors:
- Stage of ovarian cancer
- Type and size of tumor
- Is a future pregnancy planned?
Upon completion of the course, treatment approaches, usually recommended by doctors, are local and systemic.
Surgery and radiation therapy are the two main types of local treatment, in which the tumor is directed to specific areas without affecting other parts of the body. The scale of the operation depends on the stage of the cancer. Radiotherapy uses X-rays or other forms of energy to kill cancer cells.
The use of oral or intravenous drugs for chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy is within the scope of this treatment. Sometimes chemotherapy is used before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor.
Weight gain and ovarian cancer:
Weight gain in humans, ovarian cancer is usually caused by physically living with the disease and by treatment-related causes.
Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can lead to weight gain in patients. However, common causes that link ovarian cancer with weight gain are:
- Symptoms of ovarian cancer are difficult to manifest. By then, a deep-seated tumor would become larger.
- As tumors grow in the abdominal cavity, fluid may accumulate.
- Some cancer drugs retain excess water in the body.
- People with ovarian cancer tend to overeat and exercise less.
- Constipation is another cause.
Fighting weight gain due to ovarian cancer:
It is unclear how much weight gain has to do with ovarian cancer.
Nevertheless, it certainly increases the risk factors that can be reduced by maintaining an active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. Some other steps that can be taken to manage weight gain:
- Get used to a low-calorie diet.
- Limit salt intake to prevent water retention.
- Avoid foods high in sugar.
- Cook with low-fat techniques such as grilling and steaming.
- Eat small meals.
- Avoid red meat and limit to poultry and fish.
- Consume a lot of legumes, such as beans, grains and peas.
- Avoid refined grains.
- Eat greens, vegetables and whole fruits.
- Avoid fats such as butter.
- Exercise regularly, especially walking.
- Engage in activities that relieve stress, like meditation and yoga.
Ironically, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are detected at an early stage only in 20% of cases when it is most curable.
Women should consult a physician when the first signs of symptoms similar to those of ovarian cancer appear, and when there are no other apparent reasons for these symptoms.
Women who have close relatives with ovarian cancer are more vulnerable to ovarian cancer, and only timely professional medical care can increase the chances of survival.