Ovarian cancer (patient information)

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Ovarian cancer

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

When to seek urgent medical care?

Diagnosis

Treatment options

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for Ovarian cancer?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Prevention

Ovarian cancer On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

Images of Ovarian cancer

Videos on Ovarian cancer

FDA on Ovarian cancer

CDC on Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer in the news

Blogs on Ovarian cancer

Directions to Hospitals Treating Ovarian cancer

Risk calculators and risk factors for Ovarian cancer

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Qurrat-ul-ain Abid, M.D.[2] ; Jinhui Wu, M.D.

Overview

Ovaries are reproductive glands only in women. Its functions are to produce ova for reproduction and maintain the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer doesn't have any early symptoms. With the development of the cancer, frequent symptoms include heavy feeling in pelvis, pain in lower abdomen, bleeding from the vagina, weight loss and abnormal periods. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of them.

What are the symptoms of Ovarian cancer?

Early ovarian cancer does not have any symptoms. As the tumor grows larger, people may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

Other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure. A person with any of these symptoms should tell the doctor so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Who is at highest risk?

Clinical data has suggested that the development of ovarian cancer is related to several factors.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if symptoms of ovarian cancer develop. If you experience either of the following symptoms, seeking urgent medical care as soon as possible:

Diagnosis

Treatment options

Patients with ovarian cancer have many treatment options. The selection depends on the stage of the tumor. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these methods. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effect may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.

  • Surgery treatment: If your cancer does not spread and your general health is good, surgery treatment may be the first-selective treatment protocol.
  • Radiation therapy: This is a cancer treatment to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing by using high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation.
  • Chemotherapy: The treatment is to use drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for Ovarian cancer?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Ovarian cancer

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis of ovarian cancer depends on the following:

  • Whether or not the tumor can be removed by surgery.
  • The stage of the cancer: the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread outside the ovaries
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred
  • The patient’s general health

Possible complications

Prevention

Although the reasons for the development of ovarian cancer are not clear, epidemic data shows the following intervention may help to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer:

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ovariancancer.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000889.htm


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