What is Ovarian Cancer?
Until there's a test, awareness is best!!
The first step to ovarian cancer awareness and detection is knowledge.
What is Ovarian Cancer: Ovarian cancer is a growth of abnormal malignant cells that begins in the ovaries (women’s reproductive glands that produce eggs or ova). Cancer that spreads to the ovaries but originates at another site is not considered ovarian cancer. Ovarian tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Although abnormal, cells of benign tumors do not metastasize (spread to other parts of the body). Malignant cancer cells in the ovaries can metastasize in two ways: directly to other organs in the pelvis and abdomen (the more common way), through the bloodstream or lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
What causes Ovarian Cancer: While the causes of ovarian cancer are unknown, some theories exist: Genetic errors may occur because of damage from the normal monthly release of an egg. Increased hormone levels before and during ovulation may also stimulate the growth of abnormal cells.
How do I know if I have Ovarian Cancer: Since there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, knowledge is power! Knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer and reporting them to your doctor if those symptoms are persistent (for more than two weeks in any month) is the first step. Think of the acronym B.E.A.T.:
- Eating - Feeling full when eating a meal (or inability to finish a meal)
- Abdominal pressure of pain
- Trouble with urination (increased frequency or urgency)
- Newly Diagnosed
- Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Causes
- Screening and Detection, Diagnosis and Staging, Finding a Gynecologic Oncologist
- Ovarian Cancer Types
- Treatment, Managing Side Effects, Clinical Trials
- Caregiver Information
- The importance of Palliative Care
- Complementary Therapies