Ovarian cancer can affect women at any age and in all ethnic groups. It is usually diagnosed in women who are middle-aged or older, but it is also found in younger women.
When normal cells in the ovaries begin to grow abnormally, they form a mass called an ovarian tumor. Most ovarian tumors are benign (noncancerous), but some are malignant (cancerous). Tumors that grow slowly tend to be benign, but fast-growing tumors are often malignant. A woman with an ovarian tumor can have no symptoms. In some women, though, she may have abdominal pain, bloating, and fatigue. She may also feel more tired after menopause.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Cancer of ovary symptoms include back pain, constipation, irregular periods, feeling full quickly, stomach pain, weight loss, and pelvic swelling. But the symptoms are often vague and easily ignored. If any of these symptoms start, call your doctor right away.
Cancer of ovary is often asymptomatic, which makes early detection difficult. The first symptom of Cancer of ovary is often a pelvic mass. This can be a cyst, a fibroid or an ovary that is enlarged. Other symptoms may include pain, bloating, vomiting, fatigue, constipation, back pain, vaginal bleeding, abdominal swelling and difficulty breathing. Some women with Cancer of ovary may have no symptoms.
Ovarian cancer signs and symptoms vary widely. Some women don’t develop any symptoms for years after the initial diagnosis. For many other women, the first sign of Cancer of ovary may be abnormal pelvic or abdominal pain. Other symptoms include bloating, feeling full quickly, weight gain, tiredness, urinary frequency, and difficulty losing weight. Blood tests can detect Cancer of ovary in its early stages, so this can be a good way to diagnose it.
Cancer of ovary diagnosis is very difficult because there is no single symptom that tells you that you have it. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Ovarian Cancer Stages
Stages are divided into four categories based on their severity. The four stages are named according to where the cancer was found.
- They are Stage I, which means the tumor is found early in the ovary.
- Stage II means the tumor has spread to one or both of the ovaries.
- Stage III means the cancer has spread to the abdominal organs. This is called Stage III, because there are no signs or symptoms in this stage.
- Finally, stage IV indicates the cancer has spread to the distant organs and other parts of the body.
Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate
It is considered a difficult-to-diagnose disease that often affects older women, especially those who are over 50. However, advances in early detection methods and new treatments can improve a patient’s chance of survival. For instance, Cancer of ovary survival rates in women under age 50 are about 98 percent. In contrast, survival rates in women over age 50 are lower. In fact, the average survival rate for Cancer of ovary in women over 50 is just 49 percent. But there are still signs that can help you spot Cancer of ovary, even if it’s too late.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Early-stage Cancer of ovary can be cured by surgery, a lot of women with this type of cancer already have metastasis (spread) in the body by the time they’re diagnosed. For some women, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used to treat cancer, but for others, a new experimental drug has shown promise. The drug works by attacking the genetic changes (mutations) that occur in cancer cells.
If the tumor is very small, it must be removed to eliminate the possibility that it will spread to other parts of the body. Surgery is usually followed by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for most patients with advanced disease.