One of the cancers that is among the deadliest is ovarian cancer. It is the fifth most common cancer among women. Its overall chances of development are 1 out of every 100. It is estimated that over twenty-five thousand women experience this deadly disease every year.
Before gaining knowledge about ovarian cancer, it is very important to understand what ovaries are!
Ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. These eggs then travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilized egg implants and develops into a fetus.
Actually, the ovaries have three types of tissues. Germ cells produce eggs, stromal cells generate the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, and epithelial cells cover the ovary.
Mainly, there are three types of ovarian cancers depending upon the kind of cells that the tumor initially attacks. These are known as germ cell tumors, stromal tumors, and epithelial tumors.
The ovarian cancers may be benign or malignant. Benign types of ovarian cancers can be treated successfully by removing the part of the ovary that contains the tumor, or complete ovary. However, malignant types of ovarian tumors can spread to other parts of the body, and thus require a more complex treatment.
If your ovarian cancer is not detected in early stages, then it can really become life threatening. Sometimes, it can lead to removal of ovaries.
However, the ovarian cancer is asymptomatic during its early stage. By the time symptoms starts appearing, the ovarian cancer in your body will spread to its surroundings, thus making your ovarian cancer treatment very complex.
Tests such as pelvic and rectal screening, ultrasound, x-ray and laparoscopy may help detect the ovarian cancers in your body, at early stages. Presently, about 75 percent of women with ovarian cancer are not treated right away due to late detection.
Upon confirmation of this cancer, your doctor observes the extent of your cancer and recommends for surgery, where the growth or much of the malignant tissue will be removed.
Salpingo-oophorectomy, a kind of surgery, is conducted to remove your whole ovary or both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes, if the malignant cancer cells affect them.
A hysterectomy, surgical removal of the uterus, is performed when the malignant cells affect your uterus.
Radiotherapy is used along with surgery to destroy the malignant cancer cells that remain in your body after surgery.
You may also undergo chemotherapy, whereby you will be given anti-cancer drugs to speed up the treatment. These drugs may be administered orally, intravenously or through injection.
Most anticancer drugs contain chemical compounds that are poisonous to the malignant cells; thus, growth of the cancer cells is reduced or stopped.
Remember that not all ovarian cancer patients are given the same anticancer drugs. It depends upon the extent or stage of the ovarian cancer and general health condition.