About Ovarian Cancer

By Dr. Coco

May 27, 2023

Ovarian cancer is one of the most devastating and deadly forms of cancer that can affect people. It is estimated that over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States alone this year and more than 14,000 will die from it (American Cancer Society). This essay will provide an overview of ovarian cancer, its risk factors, diagnosis, treatments, and prognosis for those affected.

Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are two small organs located on either side of the uterus and produce eggs and hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. When ovarian cancer develops, it can spread to other parts of the body such as the abdomen and pelvis. There are several types of ovarian cancers which include epithelial tumors (which start in the cells lining the outer surface of the ovary), germ cell tumors (which start in egg cells), and stromal tumors (which start in hormone-producing tissue).

Risk factors for developing ovarian cancer include age (the majority of cases occur after menopause), family history (women who have a mother or sister with ovarian cancer are at greater risk), being overweight or obese, having endometriosis, using fertility drugs to become pregnant, never giving birth or having given birth after age 35. Other factors include use of hormone replacement therapy, smoking cigarettes and having certain genetic mutations such as BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Diagnosis of ovarian cancer typically begins with a pelvic exam followed by imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scan to look for any abnormalities in the ovaries. Blood tests may also be performed to check for elevated levels of certain markers associated with ovarian cancer such as CA-125. A biopsy may also be done to determine if any abnormal cells are present.

Treatment options for ovarian cancer depend on several factors including type and stage of disease as well as overall health status. Surgery is often used to remove as much tumor as possible followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy depending on what is determined best for each individual patient. In some cases targeted therapies may also be used which involve drugs that target specific molecules involved in tumor growth or development.

The prognosis for those affected by ovarian cancer depends on several factors including type and stage at diagnosis as well as response to treatment but generally speaking it is not considered curable once it has spread beyond its original site. However there have been advances in treatments which have led to improved survival rates over time so early detection remains key when it comes to improving outcomes for those affected by this terrible disease.

In conclusion, although ovarian cancer can be a devastating diagnosis it is important to remember that there are treatments available which can help improve outcomes for those affected by this condition if caught early enough. It is therefore important to remain aware of risk factors associated with this disease so that appropriate steps can be taken to reduce your chances of developing it while also being aware of any warning signs you may experience so that you can seek medical attention right away if necessary.