About Ovarian Cancer Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is ovarian cancer?
This is cancer that affects the ovaries in a woman’s reproductive system. An ovary is a small organ that is part of a pair contained in the female reproductive system. Ovaries release an egg once a month in a process known as ovulation. Cancer of the ovaries can affect women of any age. It is difficult to recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer because they can be similar to those of other conditions.
Who is at risk?
Although it can affect women of any age, the risk increases in the following:
- Women who have been through menopause
- A family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- Women who have never had children
- Hormone therapy after menopause
- Fertility medication
Factors that decrease the risk
Women who are at a very high risk of getting ovarian cancer can have, as a preventative measure, their ovaries removed. Other factors that play a role in decreasing the risk include:
- Tubal ligation
- Hormonal birth control
- Multiple pregnancies
What are the sign and symptoms?
In the early stages, the signs and symptoms are absent, painless and difficult to recognize as they are similar to those of other conditions. It is important to look out for the following signs and inform your doctor if they go on for a long time.
- Pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen
- Persistent bloating
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the back and side
- Irregular menstruation
- Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding
- Urgent and frequent urination
- Indigestion and heartburn
Screening and Diagnosis
Screening tests are usually done to people who have a high risk of getting cancer. This is so that cancer can be found early when the chances of curing it are high. However, there is no reliable screening test for this cancer yet.
Diagnosis starts with a physical examination, a pelvic exam, lab tests, a blood test, vaginal ultrasound or biopsy. Diagnosis must be confirmed by surgery; which helps the doctor to determine if the cancer is benign or malignant.
Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are the main treatments for ovarian cancer. A team of specialists who include: a medical oncologist, a gynecological oncologist and a cancer nurse, a radiologist, pathologist, physiotherapist nutritionist, and therapist.
Factors that will be considered by your doctors in deciding the best treatment for you are your general health, whether fertility is an issue, the size n of cancer and how far it has spread.
What does the procedure involve?
If surgery is recommended, then it will probably involve the removal of:
- Both ovaries and the fallopian tubes, also known as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
- The womb, also is known as a total abdominal hysterectomy
- A fatty layer of tissue within the abdomen called an omentum, also known as an omentectomy
- The lymph nodes from your pelvis and abdomen and nearby tissue to test if cancer has spread.
After care : If there are no complications you will be ready to go home in 3-7 days. However, it will take weeks to fully recover. Gentle exercises are advised after this surgery, but you should first discuss with your doctor.
Learn more about Ovarian Cancer