A cancer type that starts in the ovaries, ovarian cancer can occur in either the left or the right ovaries or in both. These are found on either side of the uterus and produce ova or eggs as well as the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Often, cancer of the ovaries goes without detection until it spreads in the abdomen or the pelvis. At these later stages, cancer of the ovaries is harder to treat and more often and not at this stage, is fatal. Ovarian cancer in its earlier stages in which the disease stays in the ovaries has a better likelihood of being successfully treated. Chemotherapy and surgery are used generally for the treatment of cancer of the ovaries.
About twenty per cent of cancer of the ovaries is found at earlier stages. When this is found early at localized areas, majority of patients are able to live after diagnosis longer than five years. Early detection will involve getting regular pelvic exams. Healthcare professionals do pelvic exams and feel the uterus for consistency, shape and size. These are useful as it can detect early stages of cancer of the reproduction systems. Many tumors of the ovaries are hard to feel. However, gynecological conditions can be identifies. For early detection of cancer of the cervix, pap tests are effective. However, this is not the same as an ovarian cancer test. In rare cases, pap tests are able to reveal these. However, by the time these are detected through a pap smear, the cancer usually is already at a later stage. Symptoms include abdominal bloating or swelling, feeling full quickly or difficulty eating. If you have noticed these symptoms, see a doctor immediately for a consultation.
After all the tests for diagnosing ovarian cancer are done, your team of doctors is going to be recommending a treatment option or two. For ovarian cancer, the main treatments include radiation therapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Frequently, there are two or more different treatment types. Try not to rush the decision you need to make when considering each option. If there is something that you want to understand more, ask your physician to explain this. In a big way, the treatment choices depend on the cancer types and the disease stage. In patients that do not have their first treatment to include surgery, the exact stage may not be known. Thus, other information related to your particular case is going to be the basis for the treatment options offered to you.
Generally, there are a few factors that play a role in the choice for the best treatment plan for you. This includes personal considerations such as whether or not you plan to have children or your general state of health. It is not just age that is the factor for determining this since many studies show that women who are older are able to tolerate treatment for cancer of the ovaries successfully. Ensure that you comprehend and are aware of all the side effects and risks of each and every type of therapy before you make decisions about treatments.