One of the most severe and under-diagnosed diseases affecting women is ovarian cancer, which may attack either one or both ovaries. It is ranked sixth among the most lethal gynecologic malignancies in the United States (affecting the female reproductive organs). According to statistics, one out of every 57 women may be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and almost half of those women may pass away within five years of their diagnosis. The diagnosis is only possible when ovarian cancer symptoms are known at early stage.
Overview of ovarian cancer
The malignant development of one or both ovaries is the defining characteristic of ovarian cancer. The ovary’s cells gradually and abnormally grow to the point where they become uncontrollable. Overgrowth of tissues causes the development of tumours, which may be benign or malignant. Cancer is brought on by the malignant ones.
The tumour may not have originated in the ovary or the ovaries but instead may have spread to the ovary from other bodily areas, often the breast. Additionally, the cancerous tumour in the ovary may spread to other regions of the body. Epithelial carcinoma, which affects epithelial cells, is the primary cause of ovarian cancer (cells found in the tissues covering surfaces of the ovary).
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Ovarian cancer may strike women of any age, therefore it’s important for women to understand its characteristics and signs. However, as women age, their chance of developing ovarian cancer increases, especially when they become fifty.
The majority of the time, ovarian cancer symptoms do not appear until the disease has progressed or is at an advanced stage. A woman is put at a greater risk since it can already be too late for her to recognise ovarian cancer signs. Additionally, there are only a few symptoms of cancer, which might be confused for signs of other illnesses.
Vague abdominal pain and bloating, which are brought on by an abundance of fluid in the abdominal cavity, are the early signs of ovarian cancer. Even after a little meal, one always feels satisfied. As time goes on, your abdomen swells to the point where some of your garments may no longer fit. Most women see the doctor for a checkup because of this strange swelling, which is quite different from a woman’s monthly water retention.
Digestion problems, unexpected changes in bowel habits, and irregular urine patterns are all symptoms of bloating. Even in the absence of a urinary tract infection or other health issues, regular visits to the toilet are necessary. One could experience nausea, extreme fatigue, and occasional want to vomit. During a sexual act, she could also experience pain and discomfort.
Further physical examination reveals pain and swelling in the pelvic region. This is a result of the pelvic edoema. A lady in the postmenopausal period sometimes has irregular bleeding.
Back and leg discomfort, lack of appetite, an undernourished look, weight increase or loss, and atypical vaginal bleeding are some more general and non-specific signs of ovarian cancer (heavier and longer than the usual menstrual bleeding).
Identifying Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
In order to identify the ovarian cancer symptoms, screening is used. The sooner a patient is tested, the better, in order to reduce ovarian cancer mortality and morbidity. The pelvic and rectal exam is one of the best techniques to find cancer in its early stages.