Ovarian cancer is the 11th most common and the 5th deadliest cancer in women, making it a source of concern for most women worldwide. The average age of ovarian cancer development in women is 55-64 years. Most people are diagnosed at the age of 63, and the average death is around 70 years of age. The average 5 years survival rate for ovarian cancer is 46.5 percent. Moreover, most women that detect their ovarian cancer earlier have increases 5 years survival rate. Obesity, family history, reproductive rate, and social lifestyle are the major risk factors for ovarian cancer.
What is Ovarian Cancer and What Causes it?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the ovary without a known etiology. However, there are a lot of risk factors linked to ovarian cancer in recent years. The most common risk factors include:
- Family History: It has been discovered that people with family members of the history of ovarian cancer are at higher The risk is lower in people with no family history.
- Age: Ovarian cancer is more common in post-menopausal women especially women greater than 63 years. It is rare in women less than 40 years.
- Reproductive Years: The reproductive age of women influences their chances of developing ovarian cancer. Women with previous experience of carrying one or two full-term pregnancies are less likely to develop ovarian cancer, especially when are less than 26 years. The number of children is directly proportional to the risk of ovarian cancer; the risk is lower, the more the kids you have below 26 years.
- Contraceptives: Using contraceptives consistently for the duration of 3 to 6 months lowers the risk of ovarian cancer. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA or Depo-Provera CI) is an injectable contraceptive that reduces the risk of ovarian cancer when ingested for a minimum of 3 years.
- Obesity: Obesity and been overweight are common risk factors for ovarian cancer. This type of cancer is common in women with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.
- Fertility Drugs: Ovarian cancer is more common in women taking fertility drugs over the period of 1 year, especially without getting pregnant. The longer the numbers of years spent on using these drugs, the higher the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Breast cancer: There has been many links between breast and ovarian cancer. Most breast cancer patient that tests positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2 always undergo oophorectomy and other preventive measures to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapies reduces the risk of having ovarian cancer especially androgen hormones such as Danazol.
- Gynecological Surgeries: Previous surgeries on the reproductive system can reduce the risk of having ovarian cancer. Tubal ligation and hysterectomy lessen the chances in two-thirds and one-third of the women population respectively.
- Endometriosis: There had been a lot of research linking endometriosis to ovarian cancer. It was revealed that endometriosis increases the chance of women having ovarian cancer by 33 percent.
How Do You Detect Ovarian Cancer?
Medical Practitioners often perform pelvic examinations to detect abnormalities in the ovary and uterus. There are other supplementary examinations carried out to identify ovarian cancer, the most common ways to detect ovarian cancer includes:
- Blood Test: There are different markers in the blood that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer. The presence of elevated CA125 suggests the presence of ovarian
- Laparoscopy: This is a diagnostic period that involves the use of cameras and a fine needle to detect the presence of diseases. It is often done for tissue sampling purposes.
- Colonoscopy: this is often performed to detect the involvement of other organs such as intestine or rectum, it is usually performed in the presence of other gastrointestinal symptoms such rectal bleeding or constipation.
- Biopsy: This is one of the essential diagnostic methods for ovarian Some tissue samples are taken away for additional examination and diagnosis.
- Instrumentation: There are various instrumentations such as X-rays, transvaginal ultrasounds, MRI, and CT scan used for detecting ovarian cancer.
- Abdominal Fluid Aspiration: some patients present with ascites and fluid accumulation in the abdomen, these fluids can be removed and examined by fluid aspiration.
How long do you live after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer?
The survival rate is a criterion used to determine how long people would live with a disease. The most common one is the 5-year survival rate which rates the percentage of people that lives above 5 years of their diagnosis.
The average 5 years survival tare for ovarian cancer is 45 %.It could increases to about 92 5% if detected earlier.
10 Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
There are numerous signs and symptoms that accompany ovarian cancer also called the silent killer. |it is called silent killer because it is more lethal when it isn’t detected earlier in life. It is advisable my medical practitioners be very proactive and visit the nearest doctor when you notice any unusual symptoms or signs of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer kills, and it is not a type of cancer to be taken for granted.
The most common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Increased pelvic pain and discomfort
- Abdominal pain and feeling of abdominal pressure
- Lower back pain
- Feeling of indigestion
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Unexplainable loss of weight
However, some of these symptoms can occur in other medical conditions and women not suffering from ovarian cancer. It is advisable to visit the medical doctor if you experience any of this symptoms. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Ovarian cancer is a prevalent disease in developed countries. It is gender-specific and occurs more in over aged women over 65 years .the survival rate is prolonged when it is detected early in life. There are numerous signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer experienced by women. The best way to diagnose and treat this lethal disease is to visit the nearest gynecologist near you if you notice any unusual symptoms or signs.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. (2018). Cancer.org. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html
Symptoms. (2018). Nhs .uk. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms/
Ten Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer | The Silent Killer – Integrative Cancer Answers. (2018). Integrative Cancer Answers. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from http://www.integrativecanceranswers.com/ten-warning-signs-of-ovarian-cancer-the-silent-killer/