Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms and stages

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The most deadly cancers to which most women are prey is the ovarian cancer. This type of cancer is however very rare but its overall chances of development are 1 out of every 100 as compared to the breast cancer that holds a ratio of 1 out of 9. The group that is most prone to this cancer is the age group of 50 and 60’s.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Since ovarian cancer shows any symptoms in the initial stage it is the most deadly cancer found. The problem is enhanced because of the fact that ovaries are located deep within the abdomen and there is no way out to self-examine on a regular basis as it much possible in the case of breasts. The disease also produce symptoms that are often confusing and could also signal to other conditions.

Frequent symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague stomach discomfort, an expanded abdomen or even abnormal bleeding. Many women face these types of symptoms either throughout their lives and they make the mistake of not informing to their physicians. And by the time they feel it necessary to inform their physician, the tumor grows to an extent that it has spread too far to stop.

Even when your physician finds an ovarian mass, it does not always mean that there is a risk of cancer. The higher majority of ovarian masses detected in pre-menopausal patients are benign and disappear as time passes by.

Greater risk

With most of the cancers, doctors don’t know exactly what causes the growth of cancerous ovarian cells. Current theory states that a number of factors of which some are controllable and some are not influence the development of ovarian cancer. One proposal also suggests that there is a link in between the number of times a women ovulates during her life and her risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The factors that contribute to the risk of ovarian cancer includes ovulation for more than 40 years, women who have never being pregnant or have the first pregnancy after the age of 30 or late menopause.

Other factor that is unrelated to ovulation but ought to increase the risk of ovarian cancer includes:

  1. A family history of ovarian or uterine cancer
  2. Having breast cancer or benign breast cancer
  3. Having colon or rectal cancer or polyps

 

Stages of ovarian cancer

If your physician makes a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, he or she will make categorize it as one of the 4 stages of the disease whereby stage 1 is the earliest stage in which only the ovaries are involved. Stage 2 involves spread of the cancer from the ovary to other parts of the pelvis. The cases that are diagnosed after stage 3 are the least. The most advanced stage of ovarian cancer is the stage 4 that has least chances of survival.

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