September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so this is a good opportunity to inform women about what they should look out for when it comes to monitoring their health regarding ovarian cancer.
Ovaries are a woman’s reproductive glands; they produce eggs and are also the primary source of the hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Ovarian cancer typically arises in one of the ovaries, although in some cases, it arises in the fallopian tubes and grows in the ovaries. It is one of the more common cancers found in women; in the United States, about one in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. There are three main types of cells in the ovaries, and cancer may develop in any of these types of cells.
Risk factors for ovarian cancer include age; most cases arise in women over 65. Other risk factors include being overweight or obese, never having children or having children later in life, taking hormone therapy after menopause, using fertility treatments, smoking, and having a family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
The following symptoms are commonly experienced by women with ovarian cancer:
- Bloated or swollen stomach
- Loss of appetite (or feeling full quickly)
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Constant fatigue
- Back Pain
- Pain or tenderness in the pelvic region or abdomen
- Weight loss
- Change in bowel habits, such as frequent constipation or diarrhea
However, these symptoms aren’t unique to ovarian cancer, and the condition can be confused with other ailments. If you have bloating and stomach pain that doesn’t go away after a few weeks even after making changes in diet or trying standard remedies, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. Your doctor can determine whether ovarian cancer is the cause of your symptoms by performing a physical exam, reviewing your medical history, and evaluating various diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, PET scan, blood test, laparoscopy, or other procedure.
Prognosis and Treatment
Significant strides have been made in recent years in treating ovarian cancer. Still, the prognosis for any particular patient with ovarian cancer will depend on several factors, including the particular type of cancer (the type of ovarian cell that is cancerous), the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, how the patient responds to treatment, and the patient’s overall health condition. For patients whose ovarian cancer is diagnosed early – where it has not spread outside the ovaries – and who undergo standard therapies, the five-year survival rate is above 90% in most cases.
However, again: every patient is unique. The recommended therapy for a particular woman will depend on her situation. Often, ovarian cancer is treated with a multi-pronged approach, which may entail several treatment options, including surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy.
At Beacon Clinic, we provide comprehensive support and care for patients diagnosed with all types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Within our practice, we are able to provide many cancer treatments in-house, including immunotherapy, oral chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation. We also offer phlebotomy services and have an in-house pharmacy, saving our cancer patients the hassle of visiting multiple facilities and providers.
We can assist our patients with formulating integrated treatment plans for almost all the services they need. To that end, we work closely with numerous cancer specialists and medical professionals throughout the country. We also are able to provide access to nationwide clinical trials right here in our clinic, enabling our patients to participate in receiving innovative cancer treatments when appropriate.
Beacon Clinic offers comprehensive supportive services that help our clients cope with the many challenges that cancer and cancer treatment can involve. We offer nutritional consultation, financial counseling, rehabilitation, and palliative care. We also provide support to family members and other caregivers.Our goal is to help cancer patients with every aspect of their cancer journey. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact Beacon Clinic today to find out what we can do for you.