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Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is the cancer of the ovaries which are which are an important part of the female reproductive system. As compared to other cancers, ovarian cancer causes the maximum number of fatalities in women. Older women are more at risk to developing this form of cancer as compared to younger women. Recognizing ovarian cancer symptoms and signs in the early stages is vital for the treatment of this cancer. Some of the ovarian cancer symptoms in women include pelvic pain, abdominal bloating and frequency in urination, difficulty in eating or feeling full immediately after eating small quantities, nausea, constipation and vaginal bleeding in some cases.
One of the most common ovarian cancer symptoms is leg pain which is usually the result of pelvic and lower back pain. Some women may even experience ovarian cancer symptoms after hysterectomy if their ovaries have been left intact during the surgery. Symptoms in such cases could include abdominal fullness, swelling, indigestion, gas, diarrhea and pain or discomfort in the pelvic region.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Prognosis

Ovarian cancer treatment
and prognosis depends on factors like the location and type of cancer, patient’s age, current health condition, the stage of the cancer and the patient’s response to the treatment. The three main ovarian cancer treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Ovarian cancer in any stage can be treated with surgery which could involve a total hysterectomy (uterus removal), removal of the fallopian tubes and the ovaries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy), complete or partial removal of the fatty layers covering the abdominal organs and biopsy of pelvic and abdominal tissues and lymph nodes. Chemotherapy is generally started after surgery to get rid of any remaining cancer or in cases where the cancer returns. The ovarian cancer treatment success rate is generally higher when the surgery is performed by a specialist in the field. Ovarian cancer treatment costs basically depend on the type and stage of the cancer, the type of treatment or surgery being used and the surgeon’s fees. Generally the ovarian cancer treatment side effects vary from patient to patient and also depend on the type of treatment used. Common surgery side effects include pelvic pain, bowel problems, inability to conceive, hot flashes and vaginal dryness. On the other hand radiation and chemotherapy side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, fatigue and headaches.

Ovarian Cancer Stages

Depending on the ovarian cancer stages prognosis can be made by the doctor but in most cases the prognosis is poor since this disease is mainly detected in its advanced stages. Many patients want to know the ovarian cancer stages survival rates of other patients suffering from this type of cancer. Generally the 5 year survival rate is applicable to patients who live for 5 years after the cancer diagnosis. Some patients may survive longer than this period and some even get cured. Patients in the first stage have 89% chance of survival, those in the second stage have 66% chances, in the third stage they have 34% chances and in the fourth and final stage there are only 18% chances of survival. Depending on the ovarian cancer stages symptoms may also get more severe in patients. Multiple organ failure is very common in the fourth stage of this disease also known as Metastasis. The main ovarian cancer stages treatments include total hysterectomy, bilateral or unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and omentectomy for the first and second stages of ovarian cancer. Similarly for the third and fourth stages of this cancer treatment includes surgery for tumor removal, total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and omentectomy.

Ovarian cancer prognosis by stage 1 could determine the survival chances of a patient. Ovarian cancer prognosis stage 2 is made when the cancer spreads to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen. Ovarian cancer prognosis stage 3 examines the spread of the cancerous tumors to the pelvic and abdominal peritoneum. Lymph node metastases are very common in this stage. Finally ovarian cancer prognosis stage 4 determines metastases of the abdomen and the parenchymal liver. Therefore it is very tough for a doctor to make an ovarian cancer prognosis without treatment because the symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to vary from case to case. The causes of ovarian cancer symptoms are often vague and misunderstood as symptoms of other conditions. The causes of ovarian cancer in women are mostly unknown but the risk of women developing this cancer generally increases with late conception, genetic defects and a family history of ovarian or breast cancer. Some of the causes of ovarian cancer in young women include ovarian cysts, germ cell tumors and hereditary genes in some cases. Understanding the causes of ovarian cancer and prognosis of this disease is quite difficult in most cases as the symptoms may vary from one person to the other. Symptoms of any nature must not be ignored and must be brought to the attention of your health care expert.
Submitted on January 16, 2014