September is the National Ovarian Cancer awareness month. With ovarian cancer ranking as the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths all over the world, it is important that you stay informed about this type of cancer. Among the gynaecologic cancers—those affecting the uterus, cervix, and ovaries—ovarian cancer has the highest rate of deaths.
Ovarian cancer is cancer that arises from cells in and around the ovary and fallopian tubes. Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour that occurs in a woman’s ovaries that can spread to all other parts of the body. The disease is wide-ranging affecting women from the ages of 30 to 70 making it crucial for everyone to get educated about the threat it poses and supports our loved ones from getting diagnosed with this disease.
Are there any risk factors in developing ovarian cancer?
Here are some risk factors that will increase the chance of developing ovarian cancer. They include
- Having a family history of ovarian cancer
- Personal history of breast, uterine or colon cancer
- Genetic mutations of genes associated with ovarian cancer, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
- Smoking and Alcohol
Are there any symptoms?
Yes, it is important that all women be aware of the possible symptoms and talk to their gynaecologists regularly about risk and prevention. We have a rundown of some symptoms which include
1) Abdominal bloating
2) Pressure and soreness in the pelvis, abdomen, legs, and back
4) Feeling the urge to urinate at regular intervals
5) Trouble to eat and feeling full quickly
6) Back Pain
7) Getting a heartburn
9) Menstrual irregularities
10) Painful intercourse
These signs and symptoms often appear only after a tumor has grown around the surrounding organs. The earlier you start treatment, the more successful it will be. Awareness of ovarian cancer is quite low among women. Women come to know about it after they have been diagnosed and 1/3 of them mistake that a cervical pap smear test will detect ovarian cancer. This is where making symptom awareness becomes more important.
What is the treatment for Ovarian Cancer?
The treatment depends on how far the cancer has spread. A team of doctors will determine a treatment plan depending on your situation. It will most likely include two or more of the following:
- Surgery to stage the cancer and remove the tumor (in addition Hysterectomy – removal of uterus is often necessary)
- targeted therapy
- hormone therapy
What can be done to raise awareness?
The first step to raise awareness is to talk openly. It is one of the best and most powerful tool in the campaign to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. This is cancer that really needs all the help it can and get awareness and funding that it deserves.
Survival rates are quite low, with treatment options being limited and diagnosis often coming at a very late stage. Gynaecological cancers and their signs plus symptoms are little known which are often stigmatized and not talked about much.
We must make sure that women feel empowered to speak about the disease with their friends, family and healthcare professionals.
Early detection is the key with so few women in India who are confident in spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer. We clearly want to get some work done here.
Rao Hospital is a pioneer in the field of Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy in Coimbatore. Our team of doctors ensure safe, ethical practice to assure you with the best results. Rao hospital is the best hospital in Coimbatore for Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy as well as Vaginal Hysterectomy.
We at Rao Hospital, think it is very essential during September which is the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to work together to make sure every woman has the best chance of survival! If you are suffering from any of the symptoms related to Ovarian cancer, schedule an appointment with our expert doctors today!
So let us pledge today that we all do something today that can change things. Let us open up about ovarian cancer, for the women today and for the women of the future.