Ovarian cancer – Top symptoms and management
Ovarian cancer refers to the abnormal growth of cells in the ovaries, which can spread and harm healthy tissues. There are three types of ovarian cancer: epithelial, stromal, and germ-cell tumors. Although the disease’s exact cause is unknown, experts suggest that age, genetics, endometriosis, and postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy are potential risk factors. It’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and treatment options available to identify and manage this condition.
Detecting ovarian cancer can be challenging since its symptoms can be similar to other health issues. To help identify the disease, here are some signs to watch out for.
One may experience abdominal pain for several reasons, including if they suffer from gastrointestinal issues and period cramps. However, it could also indicate the growth of cancer in the ovaries. When a tumor grows in the pelvis, it may cause pain in the lower abdomen. Therefore, one should get the symptoms checked by an expert.
Feeling full quickly
Ascites is a term for extra fluid buildup inside the abdomen, in the space between the organs. If someone develops cancer, the affected cells are usually found inside the additional fluid (malignant ascites). The buildup of ascites makes one feel swollen, bloated, or tight in the abdomen. As a result, they may tend to feel full quickly, even after a light snack. One may also lose their appetite if they suffer from this complication of ovarian cancer.
Drinking too much water or health conditions like kidney disease are triggers of frequent urination. However, if there are no underlying complications and one still finds the urge to urinate, but only a trickle follows, it could indicate the onset of ovarian cancer. The increased urge to urinate may occur when ovarian cancer cells have formed outside of the bladder wall. The sign may also result from ascites in the pelvis that have compressed the bladder. This could cause one to feel like they must pass urine more frequently.
Feeling exhausted after a long day at work, school, home, or even after strenuous physical routines like exercise is normal. But if they experience sudden fatigue, they should get the symptom assessed by an expert. Cancer usually changes normal protein and hormone levels associated with inflammatory processes in the body. The disease also creates harmful substances that may alter the function of healthy cells. As a result, one may experience symptoms like fatigue even without indulging in any form of physical activity.
The trouble with breathing is a sign that may surface in the later stages of ovarian cancer. It may occur when the tumors spread uncontrollably, become significant, and start to press against the lungs. Such growth may prevent an individual from inhaling and exhaling normally, causing trouble with their breathing.
After an expert has diagnosed the patient with ovarian cancer, they may recommend various treatment options.
Chemotherapy is a method that uses a specialized formula to eliminate fast-growing cells in the body, including cancer cells. The therapy can be introduced into a vein or taken by mouth. It could be used before or after surgery to eliminate cancerous cells.
An expert may also use targeted therapy, focusing on specific weaknesses inside cancer cells. By targeting these areas, the method could eliminate the harmful cells.
Sometimes ovarian cancer cells use estrogen to help them grow. Therefore, an expert may recommend hormone therapy, which utilizes prescriptions to block the effects of the hormone estrogen on ovarian cancer cells. Doing so could help reduce and control cancerous growth.
The immune system is at the forefront of fighting cancerous cells. But cancer cells may produce a protein that usually helps them stay hidden from the immune system cells. Through immunotherapy, experts aim to interfere with the process, which may help tackle cancerous development.
One of the most common treatments for ovarian cancer is surgery.
- Early-stage cancer that has not spread beyond the ovary may require surgery to remove one ovary. The procedure may involve removing the affected ovary and its fallopian tube. One should note that the process may preserve the ability to have children.
- If the cancer has spread to the ovaries, but there are no signs of additional growth, the surgeon may remove both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. In this procedure, the professional leaves the uterus intact, so one could still become pregnant using frozen embryos or eggs or with eggs from a donor.
- When the cancer is extensive, or the individual does not wish to preserve their ability to have children, the surgeon removes both ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus. Even nearby lymph nodes and a fold of fatty abdominal tissue (omentum) are removed in the process.
- Women with advanced cancer may require surgery to remove as much growth as possible. They may also receive chemotherapy before or after surgery to help reduce the spread of the disease.
Supportive (palliative) care is specialized healthcare that offers relief from pain and other symptoms of a severe illness, including ovarian cancer. A specialist would work with the patient, their family, and other doctors to offer additional support to complement their ongoing care. Palliative care could be used while undergoing other aggressive treatment, such as chemotherapy. It could help cancer patients improve their quality of life and feel better.
Ovarian cancer lawsuit compensation facts
If someone has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to using talcum powder products, they may be entitled to a settlement. Those who have used cosmetic or commercial talcum powder products and have developed ovarian cancer may file a lawsuit and receive compensation. Even family members or spouses who have lost someone to ovarian cancer due to the product may be eligible to file a claim. The settlement amount may vary depending on factors such as physical and financial damages, healthcare bills, disease severity, lost quality of life, and lost earning capacity. Individuals are advised to contact a lawyer for a free talcum powder lawsuit case review.