Best Way to Determine If You Have Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer symptoms may be confused with those of other forms of cancer. A woman should be careful not to let ovarian cancer take over her life. Early detection greatly increases the chances of survival. Here are some of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The majority of ovarian cancer symptoms come from the ovary. The two types of tissue that comprise the ovary are called the endometrium and the corpus luteum. The endometrium is the tissue that surrounds the ovary, including the ovary wall. The corpus luteum is the tissue that produces the egg cells. Endometrial tissue tends to become malignant when it has grown too large.
Another symptom of ovarian cancer is abnormal bleeding. Most of this is due to blood-thinning due to the adenocarcinoma or tumor in the pelvic area. Some women will experience heavy, dull periods and find they have unusual cramps. Bleeding can occur in the outer side of the abdomen as well.
Feeling full to capacity. One of the most difficult ovarian cancer symptoms is feeling full to capacity. Some women have difficulty adjusting to a diet plan or losing weight because they are so heavy.
As the symptoms progress, a woman’s health can deteriorate rapidly. Women suffering from ovarian cancer will typically have a decreased appetite, frequent urination, and bladder incontinence. Blood pressure levels can increase, especially in women already at high risk for hypertension. The female reproductive system will be affected negatively by many different treatments. Surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy is an option to consider.
If you are at risk for ovarian cancer, your health care provider will perform a blood test called a transvaginal ultrasound scan. This test can help your doctor determine if there is a pre-cancerous growth. The scan can also identify if there are ovarian cysts or cancerous ovarian cells in the ovarian tissue. Treatment options will depend on what the scan reveals. These include surgery, hormonal therapy, chemical chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.
Many times ovarian cancer symptoms can be confused with symptoms of pregnancy. A healthcare provider diagnosed with this condition should immediately request a pregnancy test. In addition to seeing a specialist for an ultrasound and blood test, there may be additional tests needed to confirm the diagnosis. If a pregnancy test is positive then additional tests will be conducted to determine if the pregnancy is progressing normally and to see if ovarian cancer has spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, or other parts of the body.
Ovarian cancer occurs more often in white women than in those who are black or Asian. Women who are elderly or have a family history of this type of cancer are more likely to be diagnosed. It is rare for ovarian cancer to develop in a woman who is young. This disease affects the abdominal region, the pelvic region, the upper thighs, and the pubic area. There are usually no symptoms, so if you have any of the symptoms described above it is important to see your doctor.
Certain things increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. These include being female during the time of your menstrual cycle, being overweight, having a family history of the disease, being older than fifty years old, having an estrogen level that is low, or if you smoke. These risk factors differ from person to person and they do change as you age. Being a smoker reduces your chances of being diagnosed with this type of cancer but if you do have it; you are at an increased risk of contracting additional cancers.
Some women who contract ovarian cancer have brca1 mutations. These mutations are an increase in a protein called the brca1 gene. This protein produces insulin, which is necessary for all of the tissues and organs in the body to function properly. The increased risk of developing this cancer syndrome is due to an increase in the number of cells with the mutation that carries the brca1 gene. Having this mutation does not necessarily mean that you will get ovarian cancer. It is possible that you could still have an ovarian cyst without having the brca1 gene mutation.
Some women with family histories of cancer might have an increased risk of contracting the disease after they reach menopause. Women who have an imbalance of the levels of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies are also at an increased risk of getting cancer syndrome. If you suffer from the polycystic ovarian syndrome, the fluid from your ovaries can sometimes be coated with a protein called endometrial collagen. This protein is similar to the collagen that is found inside of the uterus. If the endometrial lining grows around the ovary, it can cause scarring that can block the flow of blood to the ovary and ovaries and cause cancer to grow.
Ovarian cancer has a variety of risk factors that can be controlled or prevented through lifestyle choices. By understanding your risk factors you can take steps to improve your health and the health of your family. Your best way to find out more information about ovarian cancer is to contact your primary healthcare provider. They will be able to give you more information about screening for this very treatable disease and ways that you can protect yourself.