Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer

How to distinguish a simple cyst from a malignant cyst and what are the treatment methods for each of them? What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, one out of every 55 women will get this cancer at some point in their life.
Although this disease usually occurs in women over 50 years old, but according to Dr. Azita Safarzadeh, gynecologist and infertility and laparoscopy specialist, young girls and even teenagers and children are at risk of contracting it. The important thing is that ovarian cancer at a young age can be very dangerous and deadly; Therefore, its symptoms should be taken seriously at any age, but what are these symptoms and how can it be detected in the early stages of the disease?

This cancer knows no age

The ovary is considered one of the special tissues in the body because its cells, like the stem cells of the umbilical cord or bone marrow, have the ability to transform into different tissues. This makes the cancers originating from the ovary to be similar to different tissues of the body and have a lot of diversity. Ovarian cancer is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive system and the risk of death due to it is higher than other cancers of the reproductive system.

The age of this cancer also has two different ranges. In fact, unlike most cancers that occur mostly in old age, ovarian cancer can be seen both in young and old age.

Distinguishing a simple cyst from a malignant one

Simple cysts are cysts that have bleeding inside, and double layer cysts (cysts that have a simple part and a bleeding part) are all very common and benign ovarian cysts. Endometriosis, like bleeding cysts, is considered benign and usually worsens every month with menstruation. Benign cysts have a very specific wall and are single cavity.

In these cysts, there are no buds from the side of the wall towards the inside of the cyst, and no solid material is seen inside them. In fact, all these cysts are follicles containing liquid or blood and do not have the risk of malignancy. On the other hand, malignant cysts are usually multi-cavity and there are buds and even blood vessels inside them. Also, their walls are thick and their inner texture is heterogeneous; That is, they have both liquid and solid contents.

All these cysts should be considered suspicious until proven otherwise. It should be noted that benign cysts usually disappear with the use of birth control pills or after a few monthly cycles, but malignant tumors must undergo surgery and chemotherapy.

When the stomach is watering. . .

Ascites or accumulation of excess fluid or water behind the uterus and other parts, especially in the angle of the liver, can be a sign that the cancer has spread from the ovary to other parts. This state is usually accompanied by an increase in the diameter of the abdomen. In the advanced stages of this disease, the ovarian mass becomes very large and sometimes the cancer spreads to the intestine or bladder. In this case, the state of budding or deposition of cancerous tissue is observed in the bladder and intestine. Sometimes, during the examination of women, a firmness or a very large mass is felt inside the abdomen. Irregular menstruation can also be a sign of this cancer, but it is not a definite sign.

How is it diagnosed?

If we suspect ovarian cancer, we must perform tumor marker tests to determine whether the mass is benign or malignant. If the results of these tests are positive, additional measures should be taken, including scanning, MRI, ultrasound of the entire abdomen, examination of liver enzymes, examination of lymph nodes around the aorta and pelvic arteries, etc. . . let’s pay In this way, it is possible to understand the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread to the surrounding tissues or not.

“Katie Bates” is one of the old actors of the commercial cinema who has played roles in famous films such as “Midnight in Paris”, “Titanic” and “Valentine’s Day”. Despite her career success, the 66-year-old actress was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003. She fought this cancer for years and finally beat it because the disease never let Katie down and instead gave her useful experiences. He now advises all women not to neglect periodic examinations and tests of women and to always prioritize their health.

Treatment with chemotherapy and surgery

After the diagnosis of cancer, the patient must refer to an oncologist or cancer specialist for the stage of the disease and its treatment. If the disease is in an advanced stage, usually six cycles of chemotherapy are performed to reduce the size of the mass. After that, surgery is performed to remove the largest possible cancerous mass from the body. In fact, the more cancer tissue we remove from the body, the longer the patient survives and responds better to subsequent chemotherapy.

After the operation, we have to do the tumor marker test again to make sure that the disease has not recurred. Of course, if the surgery is done well, the amount of tumor markers will decrease to a great extent.

Risk factor 1: genetics

There are no specific risk factors for cancers that occur at a young age, but for ovarian cancers at an older age, the most important risk factors are genetics and family history. Therefore, if there is a history of cancer in your first-degree family members, such as ovarian, uterine, breast, prostate, intestinal, and stomach cancer, you should be more careful.

Risk factor 2: nutrition and smoking

External factors such as improper nutrition, high fat consumption, nitrates and nitrites, sausages and fast foods are among the risk factors of this cancer. Obese people are generally more at risk of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancers because fat tissues store female and male steroid hormones, and the higher the amount, the longer the level of these hormones remains in the body. The use of tobacco and drugs also increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Risk factor 3: old age and endometriosis

Increasing age is another risk factor for this cancer. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of ovarian cancers occur in people over 50 years old. Endometriosis also increases the risk of ovarian cancer to a small extent, but this issue should not cause concern for endometriosis sufferers because this disease, like fibroids, rarely turns into cancer. However, you should always be cautious and do periodic checkups.

Risk factor 4: lack of pregnancy and hormone therapy

Women who have never been pregnant are more at risk of this cancer than those who have given birth. Hormone therapy and excessive use of ovulation stimulating drugs also increase the risk of this disease.

Fertility may be preserved

Cancers that occur at a young age are very dangerous and deadly, but they are treatable if detected in the early stages. Even in stages 1 and 2 of cancer, if the disease is not too advanced, fertility can be preserved. For this purpose, only one ovary is removed and a biopsy is taken from the other ovary; Therefore, the patient can become pregnant. But in advanced stages of cancer, both ovaries must be removed. In this case, the patient is menopausal and can no longer get pregnant with her own egg.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

A group of ovarian cancer symptoms are localized. In this way, the patient may have pain in the pelvic floor and experience frequent urination and defecation problems. Finally, it may be associated with water accumulation in the stomach or weight loss. If any of these symptoms are present, an ultrasound (vaginal ultrasound in married women and abdominal ultrasound in single women) must be performed. Then, if a mass is observed in the ovaries, we must determine whether it is benign or malignant by considering its characteristics.

August 29, 1394 15:52

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