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Ovarian cancer: first symptoms and treatment

Ovarian cancer: first symptoms and treatment

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Ovarian cancer can occur at any time in your life. This is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in women. In most cases it is recognized between 50 and 60 years old, especially for women who have not given birth. Unfortunately, this is a very insidious disease, which is usually detected at an advanced stage. What are the symptoms and what are the causes of this type of cancer? Read!

Who is attacked by ovarian cancer?

Women who are particularly at risk of ovarian cancer:

  • did not give birth - each subsequent pregnancy reduces the risk of disease by 15%,
  • cure infertility
  • they follow a diet low in vegetables and fruit, based on meat, dairy products and bread.
  • women who quickly developed their first menstrual period and started menopause late,

Incidence of ovarian cancer is also increased by genetic predisposition. It is also suspected that the risk factor is high height and high body weight.

The risk of developing ovarian cancer is reduced by a large number of pregnancies, breastfeeding and hormonal contraceptive use.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Unfortunately, ovarian cancer develops asymptomatically at first. This is an insidious disease that is very difficult to detect because it does not give clear symptoms forcing us to visit a doctor.

Over time, symptoms appear (the fastest when the tumor reaches 1 cm in size), which, however, are usually underestimated because they are associated with other causes. These are:

  • flatulence (difficult to treat)
  • constipation
  • prolonged indigestion
  • a fast feeling of fullness in the stomach, even after a small meal
  • more frequent visits to the toilet
  • lower abdominal pain
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • decrease in appetite

Very characteristic symptoms are: pain when urinating and urgency, as well as belching and enlargement of the abdomen and swelling of the legs. In addition, an important signal is also vaginal bleeding - these symptoms, however, appear only when the cancer is advanced. In very young girls, ovarian cancer can cause premature puberty, irregular menstruation, and hair in unusual places.

The scanty first signs of ovarian cancer mean that 80% of patients are diagnosed with stage II or III cancer.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

To recognize the disease, it is necessary to visit a GP, preferably a gynecologist.

The basic test for detecting the disease is gynecological examination (the tumor can be felt by hand), as well as transvaginal ultrasound, which will allow to assess whether the change is a tumor or a harmless cyst. The recommended test is to assess the concentration of markers CA-125 and HE-4 in the blood.

In addition, morphology, blood tests for ESR, urine tests are ordered.

What does the treatment look like?

The basic method of treatment is to perform a surgical procedure aimed at resection of the tumor. In addition, chemotherapy is used.

The most important in the treatment of the disease is prevention. Systematic visits to the gynecologist combined with ultrasound allow you to quickly detect alarming changes.