What is Ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the ovaries. It can also affect the fallopian tubes.

It’s the sixth most common cancer in women. It most often develops in women aged 55 to 74.

There are two main types of ovarian cancer:

Epithelial ovarian cancer

This type of cancer starts in the surface cells of the ovaries. It’s the most common type of ovarian cancer.

Most cases of epithelial ovarian cancer are diagnosed in postmenopausal women. This is because the risk of this type of cancer is higher in these women.

Endometrioid ovarian cancer

This type of ovarian cancer starts in the cells of the endometrium. It can also start in the lining of the ovaries.

This type of cancer is more common in premenopausal women.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and symptoms. They’ll also perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.

Your doctor may order one or more of the following tests:

  • Ultrasound
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood tests
  • CA-125 blood test
  • MRI scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Laparotomy
  • Biopsy

Tests to look for endometriosis

If your symptoms are linked to endometriosis, your doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI scan. They may also order a laparoscopy or laparotomy to look for endometriosis.

Tests to look for other conditions

If your symptoms are linked to other conditions, your doctor may order a number of other tests. These include:

  • Imaging tests such as a CT scan
  • Ultrasounds
  • Biopsies
  • Hormone and progesterone levels

How is ovarian cancer treated?

Treatment for ovarian cancer will depend on the type of cancer you have and the stage of the cancer.

In most cases, early-stage ovarian cancer is treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Surgery may include:

  • Removal of the ovaries
  • Removal of the fallopian tubes
  • Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes

Chemotherapy is also used to treat early-stage ovarian cancer. It involves taking medicine to kill cancer cells.

If you have advanced ovarian cancer, your doctor will likely suggest a combination of treatments. This includes:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer can spread throughout the body. This can cause it to spread to other organs. This is called metastasis.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Pelvic bloating
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pelvic pain and bleeding
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

If you have symptoms of advanced ovarian cancer, you may also have:

  • A hard time breathing
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling tired
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores
  • Weight loss

What is the survival rate for ovarian cancer?

The survival rate is the percentage of people with the condition who are still alive 5 years after diagnosis.

According to the American Cancer Society, the 5year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 70 percent for all stages of the disease.

These rates vary depending on the type of ovarian cancer you have.

How can you prevent ovarian cancer?

There’s no way to prevent ovarian cancer.

However, some things may increase your risk of ovarian cancer. These include:

  • Being of a certain age
  • Having a family history of ovarian cancer
  • Having certain genetic conditions
  • Having certain types of uterine cancer
  • Having a history of radiation to the ovaries
  • Having a history of endometriosis

Outlook for ovarian cancer

The outlook for people with ovarian cancer depends on the type of ovarian cancer you have.

The 5year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 70 percent. This means that 70 percent of people with ovarian cancer are still alive 5 years after the diagnosis.

However, the average survival time is about 36 months. The average survival time is about 18 months for people with epithelial ovarian cancer and about 12 months for people with endometrioid ovarian cancer.

What is the survival rate for endometriosis?

The survival rate for endometriosis is 80 percent. This means that 80 percent of people with endometriosis are still alive 5 years after diagnosis.

However, the average survival time is about 5 years.

What is the outlook for people with ovarian cancer?

The survival rate for ovarian cancer depends on the type of tumor you have. It also depends on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis.

The following sections discuss the outlook for different types of ovarian cancer.

Endometriosis

The average survival time for endometriosis is about 5 years. The average survival time is about 12 months for people with epithelial ovarian cancer.

Takeaway

Ovarian cancer is not curable, but it’s usually treatable.

Your outlook can depend on the type of tumor you have. The outlook can also depend on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis.

Images by Freepik

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