OVARIAN CANCER: Signs and Symptoms you should be aware
- About 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed and 14,070 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States.
- Every 24 min a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States
- 1 in 74 women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime
- Ovarian cancer accounts for 2.5 percent of cancers in women. While the 11th most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.
Most patients with ovarian cancer are asymptomatic, with the cancer being discovered incidentally during ultrasonography or routine pelvic examination. Some cancer, however, may be associated with a range of symptoms, sometimes severe, including the following :
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Severe pain from torsion (twisting) or rupture – Cystic cancer rupture is characterized by sudden, sharp, unilateral pelvic pain; this can be associated with trauma, exercise, or coitus. Discomfort with intercourse, particularly deep penetration
- Difficulty having bowel movements
- A desire to defecate – This can occur if pressure develops
- Urinary frequency. This can occur frequently, due to pressure on the bladder
- Irregularity of the menstrual cycle and abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal fullness and bloating
- Indigestion, heartburn, or early satiety
- painful and heavy periods
- Dull, bilateral pelvic pain
- Tachycardia and hypotension
- Adnexal or cervical motion tenderness
- Diffusely tender abdomen with rebound tenderness and guarding
- Weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, shortness of breath, and signs of pleural effusion – These may be associated with advanced malignant disease
What are the causes of Ovarian Cancer?
Some of the most probable associated causes of ovarian cancer include:
- As much as 15% of ovarian cancer cases can be linked to defective genes.
Genetic testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes appropriate for any woman with a personal history of ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal (the membrane that lines the abdominal and pelvic cavities) cancer. While most women develop ovarian cancer due to a combination of age, environment, lifestyle, and hormonal factors, it is estimated that about 15% of ovarian cancer patients are born with a gene mutation that increases their chances of getting ovarian cancer.
A study published in 2011 looked at 360 women newly diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. Eighteen percent of women tested carried a mutation in the BRCA genes, and six percent carried mutations in other genes, such as TP53, RAD51C, RAD50, PALB2, NBN, MSH6, MRE11A, CHEK2, BRIP1, and BARD1. Thirty percent of positive women had no other family history of breast or ovarian cancer and over 35% were diagnosed after age 65.
2. Linked with the aging process. The fact that the majority of women who develop this disease are over the age of fifty might indicate a connection with the aging process.
- The weight factor. Research shows that this is yet another health area where it pays to lose weight. There is evidence that the incidence of the disease increases in overweight women.
5. The dangers of talcum powder use. Most people see talcum powder as a very useful item to keep in the bathroom and needless to say perfectly harmful, but maybe this is not always the case. It seems that a woman who often uses talcum powder between her legs might increase her risk of developing ovarian cancer.
6. Hormone replacement therapy
7. Sufferers from endometriosis are more at risk
8. Some fertility drugs may be dangerous
- Being tall can be a disadvantage. Why taller women are more at risk is one of the many hard to understand aspects of this illness, but the statistics show the risk and height relationship is a fact.
10. Dietary Influences