Every year in the United States, over 15,000 cases of ovarian cancer are detected. The mortality rate is much higher than other types of cancer such as breast cancer. The symptoms can be confused with hormonal changes in women as menopause or postpartum depression. The vast majority of cases occur in patients over 50 years, but it can also occur in younger women. Detecting it early is crucial for survival.
1- Symptoms can be confused with hormonal changes.
Suddenly things happen and you do not know what is happening… Gas, bloating increasing while you’re losing weight, you apparently appear fatter. It really does not seem important symptoms, but they are.
Precisely, the symptoms are misleading for many patients. The first signs of the presence of ovarian cancer may be associated with normal hormonal changes in women, especially after menopause. Experts stress the need to see a doctor in the presence of the following signs:
– Unexplained swelling
– Losing appetite for no reason or feeling like you have eaten enough
– Chronic stomach or pelvic pain
– Regular urgent need to urinate or urinating more than usual.
2- Most cases occur after menopause.
Most cases of ovarian cancer occur after menopause. A report by the National Health Service (NHS) UK says that eight out of ten women suffering from this disease have more than 50 years.
Many women do not go to the doctor because they think that the changes that are occurring in their body are common during this phase. It is essential to go to the gynecologist and insist on the fact that your body is behaving differently. The most important thing is to detect it early, but it is very difficult because there are no early advanced detection systems.
3- If you have two relatives who have had breast cancer, request a consultation.
The hereditary influence of ovarian cancer is significant. If two or more members of your family (mother, sister or daughter) had breast cancer, you are at risk of ovarian cancer. Therefore, the most important thing is to be aware and request a gynecological examination.
In families where there were ovarian cancer and one breast or two breast cancer cases, there is a high of developing ovarian cancer. Those who are in this situation can turn to genetic counseling units to identify risk and if you need to, undergo preventive surgery.
4- Definitive diagnosis requires an operation to remove the tumor.
During a daily gynecological examination, the doctor can detect signs of the presence of ovarian cancer, but not as usual. To detect the presence of a tumor of this type, there are several diagnostic tests: a study of the tumor marker CA 125, a transvaginal ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan.
The final evaluation of this disease requires removal of the tumor or of one of the implants of the same. If all tests indicate there may be a tumor, the following procedure is surgery for definitive diagnosis.
Image source: http://www.wellnesscommunitydc.org/ovarian-cancer-pictures/ – Ovarian Cancer Pictures – WellnessCommunityDC