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|Ovarian Cancer & PCOS.|
|Written by emma1980|
|05 February 2009|
Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor (abnormal growth) located in the ovaries. It typically spreads to nearby lymph nodes and eventually other tissues.
Although it is relatively uncommon, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women. One of every seventy women will develop this cancer during her lifetime. It is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers. About 25,000 women in the US are diagnosed each year. About 14,000 die each year from the disease. Ovarian cancer can occur in adult women of any age, although women over age 60 have the highest risk.
Its cause is unknown. Only about 5% of ovarian cancer cases are related to an inherited gene, the BRCA gene.
What Are The Risk Factors?
Several risk factors have been identified. If you have any of these risk factors, it does not necessarily mean that you will get ovarian cancer. It only means you are more likely than the average woman to develop it..
In its early stages, it is a silent disease that produces few if any obvious and significant symptoms. For this reason, an annual gynecological exam is crucial to your good health. An exam provides your doctor the opportunity to feel for tenderness or masses in your pelvis.
But as the disease progresses, one or more of the following symptoms may appear:
If you have any of the above symptoms, consult with your physician without delay.
Although many of these symptoms can be associated with other health problems, they can also be suggestive of a possible cancer process.
How Ovarian Cancer Is Diagnosed.
By the time it is diagnosed, the tumor has too often spread beyond the ovaries into adjacent tissue and organs. Over 50% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease. This is less likely to be the case for a woman who has regular gynecological exams. A physician should assess any ovarian mass in a postmenopausal woman, or any ovarian mass in a pre-menopausal woman that is unchanged for six weeks.
There is presently no standardized screening test to accurately detect ovarian cancer. It is usually diagnosed by the following methods:
Surgery is the preferred treatment and is usually necessary for diagnosis. If the cancer is discovered early, it may be possible to remove only the affected ovary and its fallopian tube, thus saving the other ovary for the possibility of a future pregnancy. However, in most cases, the cancer is progressing on both sides, necessitating removal of both ovaries, and possibly the fallopian tubes, uterus, nearby lymph glands, and any other involved tissue.
Several types of chemotherapy are commonly used after surgery. Radiation may also be recommended in some situations.
Is There A Link Between PCOS & Ovarian Cancer?
There is no obvious causal link between polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and ovarian cancer. Although it’s not known for sure whether benign ovarian cysts or polycystic ovaries develop into ovarian cancer, the vast majority of ovarian cysts appear to be unrelated.
Women who have polycystic ovaries or ovarian cancer seldom have obvious symptoms early on. However, in both disorders, symptoms are noticed as the condition progresses. Because the ovaries are affected on both disorders, the some of the symptoms can be similar.
Ovarian cancer is not easy to prevent, yet there are some things you can do:
***Taken from www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com***
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