Ovarian cancers are the seventh most common cancer in the females across world. These cancers form the ovarian epithelial lining tissue which grow inadvertently out of proportion to produce ovarian tumours. The most common ovarian tumours arise from inner lining of the ovary and the other subset of ovarian tumours arise from stromal tissue of ovary. It affects the woman with old age frequently. Ovarian cancers are considered to be notorious tumours as there ability to spread to the other organs rapidly because of extensive lymph nodes involvement.
Common risk factors and causes of ovarian cancers
- woman with no pregnancy
- Old age
- Obesity and diabetes
- History of colon, breast and uterine cancers
- Genetic factors leading to ovarian cancers
- Harmonal replacement therapy
Common symptoms of ovarian cancers
- swelling or lump in lower abdomain
- Pain in lower abdomain
- Non specific symptoms like alteration of bowel habits, indigestion , fullness of abdomain etc.
- Weight loss and tiredness
- Symptoms related to spread of the disease to other major organs
Diagnosis and investigations
These symptoms could be alarming in post menopausal females and should be seriously considered for examination with ur gynaecologist/ clinician. After complete evaluation patients are advised to undergo certain blood investigations ,Transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) and Contrast enhanced computerised tomography (CECT abdomain) for confirmation, size and extent of the tumour , spread of the disease in the abdomain.
CT guided biopsy may be used to further confirm the diagnosis especially in non operative tumours of ovary. Positron emission tomography (PET) scan be used to in suspicion of spread to the major organs of the body.
Treatment of ovarian cancer
Once the stage of the cancer is determined, cancer specialists and surgeons plan a treatment protocol in best interest of the patients. Surgery remains the mainstay of the treatment where uterus along with tubes and ovaries are removed( Radical hysterectomy). The extent of the surgery also depends upon the disease. In extensive cases, cytoreduction surgery with Lateral pelvic lymph nodes removal will be required to remove all the cancer tissue.
These surgeries can be performed by minimal access approach (laparoscopic/ robotic surgery) or conventional open approach more frequently to prevent spillage of large ovarian tumours in abdominal cavity. Chemotherapy is generally advised to control the cancer cells spread in the body depending upon stage of disease. Chemotherapy is also remains the mainstay of the treatment in in operable cases or widely spread ovarian cancer in the body.
Recovery after surgery
The hospital stay after the surgery is usually 3-7 days depending upon the extent of surgery and recovery of the patients. Patients need to regular follow up with there surgeon or gynaecologist for check up and medications.
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