Ovarian cancer, which is the second most common cancer among gynecological cancers, can be seen at any age, including in childhood. It ranks 4th or 5th among all cancer-related deaths in the United States. Around the world, approximately 140.000 women die each year due to ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, many ovarian cancers can be diagnosed in advanced stages due to the location of the ovaries in the abdomen.
What Are the Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer?
Although the exact cause of ovarian cancer is not known, some risk factors are thought to be effective in the emergence of the disease. Being over 55 years old, having infertility, having a history of ovarian cancer in first-degree relatives, obesity, having BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, and having a family history of breast, endometrial, or colon cancer in addition to ovarian cancer may also increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Is It Possible to Prevent Ovarian Cancer?
There is no definite information that can be done to prevent ovarian cancer. However, it has also been shown that the risk can be reduced by some changes in lifestyle. These include eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and cereals and avoiding the consumption of foods with high saturated fat content (candy, chocolate, cake, pastry, etc.), providing weight control, getting pregnant and breastfeeding, using birth control pills, and not neglecting the regular check-ups for those are in the high-risk group.
What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
Since the symptoms of ovarian cancer are similar to the symptoms of different diseases, it is necessary to be careful about the changes that may occur in the body. In addition, the symptoms are not noticed because cancer grows in the abdominal cavity and does not disturb the patient for a long time. However, when symptoms such as pain in the groin and abdomen, swelling in the abdomen, and weakness are felt, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor.
How to Diagnose Ovarian Cancer?
In cases of ovarian cancer, the diagnosis can usually be made in the advanced stages of the disease since the symptoms are noticed too late. However, since there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, the regular gynecological examination is of great importance for early diagnosis. The definitive diagnosis of the disease can be made by histopathological examination by taking a tissue sample with surgical intervention.
How to Treat Ovarian Cancer?
Surgery has an important place in the treatment of ovarian cancer. However, this requires the multidisciplinary work of gynecological oncology, medical oncology, and many other specialties. Therefore, it is important to carry out treatment with centers that have the necessary infrastructure in terms of both technology and experience.
Surgery is used for both the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer. Surgery is primarily aimed at removing the tumor. Among the goals of surgery are to determine whether the tumor really originates from the ovary, to determine its diffusion in the abdomen, to determine the type of tumor, and of course to ensure that no tumor is left behind. After surgery, chemotherapy is planned according to the patient's condition and needs.
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