Ovarian Cancer Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Ovarian Cancer Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


A collection of fluids in the ovary usually surrounded by a thin wall is called ovarian cyst. These can vary in size, they can be as small as a pea and as big as to make a woman look pregnant. The ovarian cyst mostly occurs in the reproductive period of a woman, i.e., the child bearing age. These are mostly harmless but some cases can be malignant also.

Types of Ovarian Cancer

There are mainly two types of ovarian cancer. One is caused due to functional cysts that are benign and the other is caused due to pathological cysts that are both benign and malignant. The ovarian cysts mostly go unnoticed until a woman goes through some tests and/or incidentally finds them or is striving to get pregnant. There are many tests available to determine their shape, size, and type.

Here are Some of the Major Causes of Ovarian Cancer

Increased risk

The exact cause of epithelial ovarian cancer (the main type) isn’t known, but certain things may increase your risk of developing it.

Hereditary

The first and foremost cause is the history of ovarian cyst in your family that increases your chances of having an ovarian cyst also. So, it becomes important for a woman, who has a family history of any type of a cyst, to undergo routine checkup because, as it is, the cysts sometimes do not present with any subjective symptoms for the woman to identify herself if she has a cyst or not.

Early Menstruation

If a woman has had early menstruation, i.e., before the age of 11, she is more likely to have ovarian cysts because there is fluctuation of hormones and that causes the cyst to develop.

Smoking

Smoking is a potential cause for any type of tumor in the body and here also it is a main culprit in producing an ovarian cyst. Smoking cessation is highly recommended in patients with ovarian cyst but if you have family history of tumors, you should avoid smoking in the first place as it is always said that prevention is better than cure.

Common Symptoms Of Ovarian Cysts

  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Pain on the lower side of the body
  • Pain in the lower stomach
  • Back pain
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Feeling full rapidly when eating
  • More frequent and urgent urination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation

Treatment for ovarian cancer

Targeted therapy

Newer medications are being developed that target specific pathways (or necessary functions) in cancer cells directly. These medications include bevacizumab (Avastin) and olaparib (Lynparza). Their advantage over traditional chemotherapy is that they limit damage to normal cells, therefore reducing common side effects.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy may be added to the treatment plan in order to prevent estrogen from reaching the cancer cells. Cutting off its supply of estrogen slows cancer cell’s growth.

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