Ovarian cancer is cancer of the ovaries. It is related to fallopian tube cancer, which develops in the tubes that lead from the ovaries to the uterus. It is also related to peritoneal cancer, which is cancer of the tissues that line the abdomen.
What is ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer is cancer in a woman’s ovaries. Ovaries are the two sex glands that hold a woman's eggs.
Ovarian cancer usually happens in women between the ages of 50 and 70
Ovarian cancer is hard to find early because it often doesn't cause symptoms at first
To treat ovarian cancer, doctors usually remove both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, and the uterus
Internal Female Genital Organs
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
The first symptom may be discomfort in your lower belly area as an ovary gets bigger.
Other early symptoms may include:
Not feeling hungry
Later symptoms may include:
Pain in your lower belly
How can doctors tell if I have ovarian cancer?
It can be hard to catch ovarian cancer early because there aren't many clear symptoms. And your doctor may not find anything abnormal during your regular checkup. Once in a while, your doctor might find that one of your ovaries feels larger than it should.
If your doctor suspects you might have ovarian cancer, you'll usually have an:
If the ultrasound looks like you have cancer, your doctor may do:
CT (computed tomography) scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more to see where the cancer might have spread
How do doctors treat ovarian cancer?
Doctors treat ovarian cancer with surgery, usually removing the:
Doctors then usually give you chemotherapy Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by shutting down cell growth. But since all cells in the body grow, chemotherapy drugs also destroy some normal cells and... read more to destroy any remaining cancer.
Depending on where the cancer has spread, doctors may use chemotherapy instead of or before surgery.
Unless it's caught early, ovarian cancer often comes back after treatment. Doctors use chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer that comes back.
How can I prevent ovarian cancer?
Some women have genes that increase the risk of ovarian cancer. These genes are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. They also increase the risk of breast cancer Breast Cancer Cancer is when cells grow abnormally. Cancer cells don't look or work like normal cells and keep multiplying out of control. Cancer cells can invade and destroy nearby healthy tissue. Sometimes... read more . If you have family members who've had breast or ovarian cancer, you should talk to your doctor about gene testing. If you have one of these genes, having your ovaries removed may help prevent cancer.