Tags: ovarian cancer | symptoms | cyst | stage | treatments

Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms and Treatments

Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 02:42 AM

Many women have ovarian cysts that remain asymptomatic and benign with no harmful effects on health. Such cysts are termed functional cysts and they are not to be confused with the cysts caused by ovarian cancers. However, the ovarian cancer cyst needs surgery and immediate treatments. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer in women in the U.S., with treatments varying based on the stage of the cancer. Patients of ovarian cancer or its cysts may exhibit symptoms of severe pain in the pelvis region, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight, or problems during sex. This write-up discusses the most common symptoms and effective treatments available for ovarian cancer, the tumor leading to cancer, and the ovarian cancer cyst.

 
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts and Tumors

The common functional ovarian cysts are asymptomatic. However, cancer cysts have symptoms superficially similar to ovarian tumors but leading to cancer. The list of symptoms of ovarian cysts and tumors includes:
  • Difficulty during sex
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Abnormal or uncontrolled bleeding during menstruation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme or rapid weight loss or weight gain
 
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
  • Intense pain in the pelvis region
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Heartburn, acidity, and constipation
  • Trouble during intercourse
  • Nausea, fatigue, and weight loss
  • Difficulty in breathing

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

The four stages of ovarian cancer are:
  • Stage 1: Cancer can appear in one or both the ovaries. Based on this, it is further subdivided into Stages 1a, 1b, and 1c.
  • Stage 2: Here the cancer spreads to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and pelvis. This is categorized into Stages 2a, 2b, and 2c.
  • Stage 3: Most cancers are recognized here when the cancer has spread to the abdominal lining. Stages 3a, 3b, and 3c are the subdivisions.
  • Stage 4: This is the highest level of cancer where the cancer spreads to organs such as the lungs and liver. This stage has the highest risk of being fatal.

Treatments for Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer treatments depend on the stage of the cancer. The various treatments available for ovarian cancers include:
  • Chemotherapy: These treatments use various anti-cancer drugs to kill or restrict the growth of cancer cells from spreading. Chemotherapy is usually tried before surgery to increase chances of the operation being successful. Drugs can thus control the symptoms of ovarian cancer and prevent the further growth of cancerous cells. In intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the anti-cancer drugs are injected via a catheter directly into the abdominal cavity. However, these treatments have potential long-term side effects.
  • Surgical treatments: Treatments depend on the stage of a patient’s cancer. For patients with an early cancer stage, undergoing surgery can prevent the cancer from spreading. This is the most common treatment. This procedure aims at the twin goals of staging, where the surgeon detects the stage of your cancer, and debulking, where the cancerous tumor is removed to its highest possible level. Further treatments can be decided easily once the cancer’s stage is determined.
  • Radiation therapy: This advanced treatment for ovarian cancer uses high energy X-rays or high-energy beams of radiation. These are targeted on the affected portion to burn the ovarian cancer cells.
  • Other treatments available: Some new treatments like targeted therapy and hormone therapy are also available for cancer treatment.

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Cancerous or uncontrolled growth in the ovary is among the major forms of cancers affecting women, especially those aged above 50 years. Severe lower abdominal pain and pain in the pelvis region, increase in abdomen size, loss of weight, and frequent urination are some common signs of this cancer.
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Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 02:42 AM
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