Philadelphia Treatment Guide
What It Is
Ovarian cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in the ovaries, a woman’s reproductive glands. Risk factors include increased age — two thirds of ovarian cancer patients are women ages 55 and older — having never been pregnant, fertility difficulties, and a personal or family history of ovarian, breast, or colon cancer. Though there is no way to prevent ovarian cancer, using birth control pills for more than five years, giving birth, breast-feeding, or having a hysterectomy, a tubal ligation, or an oophorectomy (the removal of the ovaries) can lower your risk.
Bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, urinary urgency or frequency, pain during intercourse, abnormal discharge and bleeding, back pain, fatigue, indigestion, constipation.
Surgery is the primary treatment option for ovarian cancer, but the extent of the surgery is contingent upon the type and stage of the cancer. If detected early, the ovary and corresponding fallopian tube are removed. If more advanced, a full hysterectomy may need to be performed, as well as the removal of affected lymph nodes and abdominal tissue. Following surgery, chemotherapy drugs are typically administered for up to six months. Radiation, where high-energy x-rays are used to kill specific areas of cancer cells, is also sometimes used.