The purpose of observing World Ovarian Cancer Day every year on 8th May is to raise awareness about ovarian cancer in the whole world. If there is more awareness among women, they will take timely action regarding ovarian cancer and this will help to save a lot of lives. Let us now discuss some facts about ovarian cancer. When there is any cancerous growth in the ovaries, it is known as ovarian cancer. The ovaries form a part of the female reproductive system. The function of them is to produce eggs (ova). They also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. When ovarian cancer is at an early stage, effective treatment is possible. The treatment becomes more difficult when ovarian cancer spreads to the pelvis and abdomen. Therefore, early detection of ovarian cancer is very important.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
  • Feeling full even after eating a small amount
  • Loss of weight
  • Constipation or other changes in bowel habits
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Frequent need for urination

It is a wise decision to consult an oncologist in Kolkata if you have these symptoms.

Types

Ovarian cancer has three types. They are:

  • Epithelial tumours
  • Stromal tumours
  • Germ cell tumours

Risk factors

The following factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Older age: Ovarian cancer is most common in women of 50 to 60 years of age, although it can occur at any age.

  • Family history of ovarian cancer: A woman has an increased risk of the disease if she has two or more close relatives with ovarian cancer.

  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy: When there is long-term use of this therapy in large doses, the risk of ovarian cancer increases.

  • Age when menstruation begins and ends: If menstruation begins at an early age or menopause happens at a later age, women have more risk of ovarian cancer.

Diagnosis

A cancer doctor in Howrah recommends the following tests for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

  • Pelvic exam: By inserting gloved fingers into your vagina and pressing a hand on the abdomen, the doctor feels your pelvic organs in this procedure. There will also be the evaluation of the external genitalia, vagina and cervix.

  • Imaging tests: The doctor can determine the size, shape and structure of your ovaries by imaging tests like ultrasound or CT scan.

  • Blood tests: These tests help the doctor to detect whether there are high levels of a marker called CA-125.

  • Intraoperative Frozen Section: A pathological test performed during surgery by experienced onco pathologists to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

There is normally a combination of surgery and chemotherapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Surgery

You can undergo CRS for carcinoma ovary in Kolkata. Cytoreductive surgery is the full form of CRS. The other surgical procedures include:

  • Surgery to remove one ovary in case of young women with unilateral disease and fertility preservation.

  • Surgery to remove bilateral ovaries, fallopian tube, uterus, draining lymph node in the pelvis, infra colectomy and para-aortic lymph node dissection.

Chemotherapy

During chemotherapy, the doctor often uses chemicals to kill cancerous cells. After surgery, this procedure helps to kill the remaining cancer cells. The doctor sometimes uses it also before the surgery (Interval Cytoreduction) depending on the stage of the disease.