Ovarian cancer (ovarian carcinoma) risk factors

Ovarian cancer (ovarian carcinoma)

In the two ovaries of the woman grow the ova, from which a child is born when fertilized with the male semen. The ovaries lie like the fallopian tubes and the uterus in the abdomen and are located near the bladder and intestine.

Ovary and adjacent organs

  1. Fallopian tube 2. Ovary 3. Uterus 4. Scab 5. Cervical cavity 6. Uterus body (muscular layer) 7. Uterine mucosa (endometrium) 8. Cervix

Ovarian cancer risk factors

There are no clear causes of ovarian cancer. However, some factors may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer:

Factors that “prolong” the action of the hormone estrogen on the metabolism: early first menstruation, childlessness, late menopause

  • strong obesity (fat cells in the body produce estrogen)
  • Diabetes (diabetes)
  • long-term hormone therapy in menopause with estrogen, without additional gestagen
  • existing breast cancer or some antihormonal therapies in breast cancer
  • hereditary factors (BRCA mutation)

Ovarian cancer symptoms

Ovarian cancer often causes little discomfort for a long time. Therefore, the cancer is usually discovered only at an advanced stage, when it has formed metastases in the pelvic cavity and in the abdominal cavity.

The following symptoms may indicate ovarian cancer:

  • Constant pain in the lower abdomen
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Feeling of fullness and indigestion
  • Exceptional cycle disorders
  • Bloody discharge from the vagina between menstruations or after menopause

Ovarian cancer diagnosis

To clarify the suspicion of ovarian cancer, a gynecological examination is carried out first. With ultrasound and computed tomography, the ovaries and the surrounding organs can be displayed. For the final diagnosis usually an operation must be made: During this procedure, the abdominal organs are examined closely and tissue samples are taken.

Ovarian cancer therapy

In the early stages of the disease, both ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus and parts of the peritoneum and lymph nodes are usually removed. The removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus means that the affected woman can not have children after the procedure. In advanced stages sometimes individual abdominal organs (such as the bladder, spleen, liver or bowel) sometimes or completely have to be removed.

Following the operation, chemotherapy almost always follows. Some women also receive antibody therapy.

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