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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Treatment Huntsville Alabama and Other Locations

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that begins in the ovaries, or reproductive organs, in the body. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Over the last 20 years the occurrence of ovarian cancer in the U.S. has declined. Researchers feel that the increased use of oral contraceptives may contribute to this decline.

Because early symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to other common health problems, it often goes undiagnosed. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have an ongoing experience with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

How to Check for Ovarian Cancer at Home?

Ovarian cancer cannot be detected at home, but if you are aware of the warning signs and symptoms, you can consult your doctor as soon as you notice them to help with early detection.

Always get medical help if you suffer any of the following symptoms for over a week:

  • Bloating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling full after a small amount of food
  • Persistent pelvic ache
  • Changing in urination

Ovarian cancer might have subtle early signs and symptoms that make them challenging to identify as they may resemble a stomachache or certain perimenopausal symptoms. The issue is not that these symptoms suddenly develop, but that many people are unaware of what to look for or when to be concerned. Because of this, it’s critical to understand your risk and schedule a gynecologist visit every year. Don’t disregard any symptoms you may be experiencing if you suspect ovarian cancer and keep track of how frequently your symptoms occur.

There are several risk factors associated with ovarian cancer. Presence of these risk factors does not mean a woman will develop ovarian cancer. If you have one or more of the following risk factors, please discuss them with your healthcare provider.

  • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Genetic mutation – BRCA 1, BRCA2 or Lynch syndrome
  • Previously diagnosed with breast, uterine, colorectal or cervical cancer
  • Of Ashkenazi Jewish decent
  • Never given birth or have had difficulties getting pregnant
  • Endometriosis
  • Obesity

Early detection of ovarian cancer greatly increases patients’ survival rates. When ovarian cancer is found early 94% of patients will live longer than 5 years. Yearly pelvic exams are recommended for early detection. During a pelvic screening, your healthcare provider will check your ovaries and uterus for any inconsistencies or abnormalities. Paying close attention to the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer can also help with detection. If your healthcare provider suspects abnormalities during your physical exam, he or she may use one or more of the following diagnostic tests to confirm and classify the mass:

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Abdominal or pelvic ultrasound
  • Pet scan
  • Biopsy
  • Laparoscopy

Once the ovarian cancer has been confirmed, your oncologist will discuss with you the available treatment options. With ovarian cancer one or more of the following treatments are often used: