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Ovarian Cancer Treatment

The ovaries are the pair of egg-producing organs of the female reproductive system. They are also responsible for the production of the hormones estrogen as well as progesterone. Ovarian cancer is one of the most common diseases that affect the ovaries. In most cases, only one ovary is affected but if neglected, it can spread to the other ovary as well as to other organs in the body.

Ovarian cancer is basically the formation of malignant tumors, that is, the formation of masses of abnormal cancer cells on any part of the ovary.

These cells grow rapidly and affect the growth and functioning of the organ as they draw a lot of nutrition and oxygen. The main symptom of ovarian cancer is an irregular menstrual cycle. Pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, a feeling of being full, frequent urination, abdominal bloating and painful intercourse could be indicative of ovarian cancer. However, in most cases, it goes undetected initially and is often diagnosed only at a later stage in the illness, when the mass grows large enough to exert pressure on surrounding organs or when the cancerous cells have spread to adjoining areas. Ovarian cancer could be detected through a pelvic examination if the growth is large. In most cases, tumors are detected through ultrasound scans. Laboratory tests may also be used to look for indicators of cancer.

On detection of a tumor, the first step would be a biopsy to determine the malignancy of the tumor. In this case, the tumor would be removed for intensive investigation. On confirmation of malignancy, surrounding areas may also be checked for malignancy through a similar process. Once detected, the stage of cancer is determined based on the studies. For ovarian cancer treatment, prognosis plays a crucial role and ovarian cancer treatment options are based on the stage of the cancer. There are no ovarian cancer home remedies as such. In the first stage of ovarian cancer, a tumor may be present on the surface of either one or both ovaries and fluid accumulation may be observed. Stage 1 ovarian cancer treatment is mainly removal of the ovary through surgery. In around forty percent of the cases, the cancer does not recur. Chemotherapy or radiation, along with medication, may be advised to kill microscopic cancerous cells that could not be eliminated with surgery. Receiving early stage ovarian cancer treatment can reduce the risk of spread of the cancer and in turn, increase the life expectancy of the affected woman. Suitable treatment at an early stage could result in an ovarian cancer cure. Stage 2 ovarian cancer would find the uterus, fallopian tubes or other parts in the pelvic region affected by the cancerous cells. The fluid in the cavity may also contain cancerous cells. For stage 2 ovarian cancer treatment surgery, chemotherapy and medication is essential. During surgery, the areas surrounding the ovaries are also cleansed of cancerous growths. In stage 3 ovarian cancer, cancerous cells attack the pelvic organs as well as lymph nodes. Stage 3 ovarian cancer treatment involves ‘debulking’ surgery wherein the doctor removes as much of the cancerous cells as possible. However, by this stage, the cancer has already spread to hidden crevices and is bound to recur. Chemotherapy and strong medication is unavoidable. Stage 4 of ovarian cancer would display the spread of malignant cells to abdominal organs such as the spleen as well as the liver. Cancerous cells may also be present in fluid that surrounds the lungs. For stage 4 ovarian cancer treatment optimal ‘debulking’ surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy and strong medication is generally used to buy time for the patient. However, since the cancerous cells spread to various parts of the body, a cure is absolutely impossible, at this stage.

There are a number of ovarian cancer remedies and cost would depend upon the stage of cancer as well as the prognostic treatment opted for. Ovarian cancer treatment has side effects. Ovarian cancer treatment drugs could prove to be quite draining for the patient as they are usually administered in very strong dozes. They also tend to affect healthy cells and could lead to conditions such as kidney failure. Following ovarian cancer surgery treatment, the woman would have to deal with pain and hormonal imbalance as well as face a difficulty with normal bladder and bowel movement. Chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer normally leaves the patient weak and it also affects the process of cell growth, mainly of the white blood cells and this in turn decreases the body’s immunity. It also affects the ability of the blood to clot, thus increasing chances of bruising and bleeding. However, for the treatment of ovarian cancer, surgery and chemotherapy cannot be avoided, especially if the cancer is spreading. Radiation leads to fatigue and it also affects the texture of the skin. Nausea, vomiting, urinary discomfort, diarrhea and vaginal dryness are other affects of radiation.

Submitted on January 16, 2014