Ovarian cancer is when the ovaries develop abnormal growth of tissue, this is where eggs are produced. It is more common for ovarian cancers to appear on the surface of the ovaries.
There are three main types of ovarian cancer:
- Epithelial Tumours occur on the surface (epithelial) of the ovary.
- Germ Cell Tumours develop in the cells that produces eggs and younger women are more susceptible.
- Stromal Tumours occur in the oestrogen and progesterone producing tissues of the ovary. These hormones function to regulate your menstrual cycle.
There are risk factors that includes:
- First pregnancy in the later stage of life
- Menopause at a late life stage
- Relative who has ovarian cancer, specifically if they hold the brca gene
- Breast cancer
- Menstruation started at an early age
- Used hormone replacement therapy for more than five years
- Overweight in early adulthood
These signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer includes:
- Abdominal swelling and discomfort (pressure, fullness, or bloating)
- Changes in bowel habits for example constipation
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Lower back pain - Pain during sexual intercourse
- Persistent indigestion, gas, or nausea
- Urgency to pass urine or frequent need to urinate
The treatment for ovarian cancer usually includes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy:
- Chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
- Surgery to remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and the lymph nodes