By Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit, Oncology
Ovarian cancer is referred to as the cancer of the ovaries. The ovaries are a component of the female reproductive system. There are two ovaries located on either side of the uterus in a woman’s body. Ovaries which are the organs responsible for producing egg cells also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which often goes undetected until it has spread all the way to the pelvis and the abdomen. However, it is also very difficult to treat the condition in its later stages which is why diagnosing ovarian cancer quickly is quintessential. Here is everything you need to know about ovarian cancer.
- No symptoms at first: Usually, in its early stages ovarian cancer does not cause any symptoms.
- Abnormal bloating: Bloating is when your abdomen swells due to excess fluid or gas inside. Abnormal bloating is more frequently associated with irritable bowel syndrome or even constipation is a common symptom of ovarian cancer.
- Feeling full quickly: This is also an associated symptom which has often been mistaken for constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
- Weight loss: This is one of the more common signs of ovarian cancer.
- Discomfort in the pelvis area: This symptom occurs towards the later stages of ovarian cancer after it has already spread.
- Constipation: Constipation is a symptom of ovarian cancer as well.
- Frequent urination: This is yet another symptom which is a sign of ovarian cancer.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken with that of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
Causes: As with other forms of cancer, it is still very unclear what exactly causes ovarian cancer.
- Surgery: Surgery most commonly involves removing large parts of the female reproductive system which includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus as well as the lymph nodes. The surgeon will also try and remove as many cancer cells as possible from the abdomen and pelvic areas.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is usually done after surgery. It is usually performed so that the rest of the cancer cells are killed off. Chemotherapy drugs can be injected directly into the vein, abdominal cavity or sometimes even both.