Author Topic: Ovarian Cancer  (Read 242 times)

Offline Eby Nze

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Ovarian Cancer
« on: October 07, 2020, 12:35:50 PM »
Ovarian Cancer
This is one of the gynecological cancers. It is common but unfortunately not easily diagnosed as sometimes the symptoms could  be confused with other medical problems.

The Ovaries are connected to the womb and supply the eggs for fertility.

Ovarian cancer usually affects women who have gone through menopause, usually over 50 years, but can sometimes affect younger women.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer
Feeling bloated
Swollen tummy not related with food
Feeling full easily when eating
Lower abdominal pain
Urine frequency more than normal
New change in bowel habit in a woman >50yrs, giving suspicion of Irritable bowel habit

Other symptoms to consider
Persistent indigestion or nausea
Painful intercourse
Back pain
Feeling tired all the time
Unexplained weight loss

(See a doctor if any of the above or family history of ovarian cancer)

Causes of Ovarian Cancer
Cause not know, but there are some things that increase the risk
Age > 50 years
Family History of ovarian and breast cancer- if inherited genes
Hormone Replacement therapy - Though risk is very small
Endometriosis - condition where tissue of the lining of the womb are found outside the womb
Lack of exercise
Exposure to asbestos
Having first child later >35 years, or never been pregnant

Some controversial risk factors
Fertility treatment - IVF
Previous breast cancer
using testosterone - male hormones
Talcum Powder - applied in the genital area

Physical examination - Feeling your tummy (internal examination)
Special blood test called Ca125 - Please note, other medical causes can raise the CA125, but if raised, must be followed up
CT scan - Gives more detailed images
Chest x-ray - To make sure no spread, sometimes with spread, unexplained fluid in the lungs
Biopsy and Laparoscopy - With blood and scans, for onward treatment

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, general health and if the person is still able and want children. Aim is to cure the cancer if possible, (if the cancer is not already in advanced stage). If advanced, then the aim is to relieve and control symptoms.
Surgery - This involves removing the ovaries, tubes and womb and fatty tissue covering the area. However if only one ovary is being affected and the woman is hoping to have children in the future, then the womb could be preserved.
Chemotherapy - Can be used after or before surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells. Can also be used if the cancer reoccurs. It can be given as tablets or drip infusion
Radiotherapy - Can be used after or before surgery - to kill cancer cells or shrink tumour size.

Targeted Therapies - These are medicines that change the way the cancer cells work, and help to reduce spread and growth. They are used some times on ovarian cancer.

Stages and Grades of Ovarian Cancer
Stage 1 - Only the ovary/Ovaries affected
Stage 2- Spread to the Pelvis or womb
Stage 3- Spread to lining of the tummy, surface of the bowel or to lymph glands in the pelvis or tummy
Stage 4- Spread to other parts  of the body - Lungs or liver

Types of Ovarian Cancer
Epithelial Ovarian Cancer - This type starts from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary
Germ Cell ovarian Tumours - Ovarian teratoma usually affects girls and young women up to early 30's. Starts from cells that produce the eggs.
Sex cord Stromal tumours - can be non cancerous or cancerous - example, Granulosa cell tumours. It starts from tissues that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
Borderline Ovarian Tumours - are abnormal cells that form in the tissue covering the ovary. They are not cancer, and are usually cured with surgery.

In summary, ovarian cancer though a common gynaecological cancer, can sometimes be confusing with the presentation, resulting in late diagnosis.

In any woman with unexplained abdominal symptoms, presenting several times in one month, seek medical help and ask your doctor to carry out blood test and scan to rule out ovarian cancer.

Thank you.
Dr Ebere Nze

Reading Resources
Cancer research Uk
American Cancer Society

Offline Dr Nneka

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Re: Ovarian Cancer
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2020, 11:09:27 AM »
Thank you so much Dr Ebere Nze for the awareness on Ovarian cancer. Like you said in the beginning, Ovarian cancer is very common, but unfortunately not easily diagnosed as sometimes the symptoms could be confused with other medical problems. I have witnessed where someone had Ovarian cancer case but for years was attributed to Menopause until it reached stage 4 before Ovarian cancer could be confirmed.  Thank you once more and God bless.

Please permit me also to use this venue to introduce to the forum some recommended nutrition to prevent Ovarian cancer according to the World Cancer Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research.  Vegetables such as asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, Cauliflowers and Broccoli can really help to fight against Ovarian cancer due to their anti-cancer compound contents that works well against Ovarian cancer.   

Offline Dr Sidonie Tankeu

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Re: Ovarian Cancer
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2020, 12:29:16 PM »
Thank you Dr Ebere Nze for the details on Ovarian cancer. Be blessed!

Fortunately we have our vegetables that can help us prevent the condition since it cannot be easily diagnosed.

Carrots and tomatoes at least are regular in our daily vegetables. So lets eat them more and if we can add other vegetables as mentioned by Nikky lets do so.

Offline Eby Nze

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Re: Ovarian Cancer
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2020, 03:29:42 PM »
Thank you Nikky and Dr Tankeu.
Yes, I am all for a health diet as it can prevent most of the illnesses in the world right now.
However, I do not know much about nutritional medicine to recommend for specific cancers.
Thank you for the contributions.
One thing, I know is that reducing the sugar content in our diet is very good, as it reduces feeding of the cancer cells.

Offline daisychiji

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Re: Ovarian Cancer
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 09:01:56 PM »
Thanks Dr Nze for the insightful knowledge and guidance provided. Well done!