Understanding Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Treatment
Whether ovarian cancer runs in your family or you’re worried you may be experience symptoms, an appointment with your gynecologist is a good place to start. Ovarian cancer makes up roughly 3% of cancers among women, but it is responsible for more deaths than any other female reproductive system cancer. The American Cancer Society reports about 22,280 women received a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2016 and nearly 14,240 women died from the disease. Ovarian cancer ranks 5th in cancer deaths among women. About one in every 75 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but the numbers have been gradually decreasing over the past two decades. Although the statistics are alarming, there are ways to prevent and detect the cancer in its earliest stage.
Detect Ovarian Cancer Early
As with so many heath challenges, early detection is key to successful treatment. Regular visits to your Reno gynecologist will allow your doctor to recognize signs of concern and document changes to your body. A regular health exam usually includes a pelvic exam – determining the size, shape, and consistency of the ovaries and uterus. While pap smears are a good test for cervical cancer, they are generally not recommended for ovarian cancer testing.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Signs of ovarian cancer can sometimes be hard to recognize as they are often associated will many other illnesses or diseases. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are rarely recognized in the early stages, and are more severe if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Some symptoms include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms – constantly feeling you need to go, or having to go frequently
While there are other symptoms of ovarian cancer, Reno gynecologists warn the best preventative and early treatment is through regular exams.
What Causes Ovarian Cancer?
Women who fall into one or more of the risk factor categories aren’t necessarily going to get the disease. There are a number of factors to consider, with family history of cancer being a major one. Here are some other risk elements of ovarian cancer:
- Birth control
- Estrogen therapy
- Fertility drugs
- Gynecological surgery
- Previous diagnosis of breast cancer
- Reproductive history
While doctors can’t say for certain what causes most ovarian cancers, the risk factor list above is believed to put certain women in a great risk category for being diagnosed with the disease.
Ovarian Cancer Treatments
Doctors often recommend more than one treatment option to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Each case is different, so your cancer team will know which options are best for you. Some option include:
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Once the cancer treatments are complete, your doctor will continue to schedule appointments to monitor your progress. Ask your doctor what type of post-cancer treatment care you can expect.
Are you looking for a trusted and experienced Gynecologist? Connect with our team today to schedule your appointment. We are eager to help you and be a part of your health and well being.