On May 8, World Ovarian Cancer Day is celebrated, one of the types of cancer in women that has a lower survival rate due to its late diagnosis and because its symptoms are very general and are often confused with other pathologies.
This date is celebrated all over the planet since 2013, and aims to raise awareness in the world about this disease . In this regard, the American Cancer Society points out on its website that in the United States more than 22,000 women are diagnosed a year and more than 14,000 die from this cause. In the same way, around the world, there are 140 thousand deaths that are recorded annually, and only 45% of patients manage to survive 5 years, while in breast cancer the percentage is higher, with 89% of patients who they manage to overcome it. .
Most common causes of ovarian cancer
Like any disease, ovarian cancer has some triggers that we will mention below:
- Family background.
- Age: over 55 years.
- Not having had children.
- Not having taken birth control pills.
- Having had endometriosis.
- Having menstruated at a young age.
- Estrogen and hormonal therapies.
How to manage risk factors for ovarian cancer?
Some risk factors for ovarian cancer are out of control, including genetics, ethnicity, and age. Other risk factors can be influenced by lifestyle changes. The following actions can help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer:
- Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of birth control pills.
- Follow a well balanced diet.
- Get regular exercise.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Talk to your doctor about family history, personal medical history, and lifestyle habits. They can help assess the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Specialists can recommend strategies to help reduce your risk and increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.
Learn to read the signs
Although the symptoms are not very specific, there are certain signs that can shed light on this type of cancer. The first is the increase in the abdominal area, accompanied by pain, a feeling of bloating, loss of appetite, frequent urination, constipation and in more severe cases, vaginal bleeding, rapid weight gain or loss, and fatigue . Faced with any of one or more conditions mentioned, the ideal is to go to the gynecologist.
Stages of ovarian cancer
The only way to know the stage of ovarian cancer is through surgery. Once the patient has been subjected to it, a series of studies are made. The phases or stages are divided into 4, which in turn are subdivided. All cancer patients must be aware of their stage to receive a successful treatment.
- Stage 1: The cancer is only inside one or both ovaries or the fallopian tubes.
- Stage 2: The tumor has spread to areas such as the uterus, bladder, rectum, or lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: It is transferred from the pelvis to the abdomen.
- Stage 4: It extends outside the perineal area: towards the spleen, liver and lungs, among others.
Diagnostic and prevention tests
Among the tests that a gynecologist can perform if ovarian cancer is suspected, it is a pelvic exam, blood tests with tumor markers and transvaginal ultrasound scans. Doing more than one of these tests is better, as there is a better chance of getting the diagnosis right. There are also tomographies and biopsies.
In order to reduce the chances of developing this type of cancer, there are some options: take contraceptives , in premenopausal women remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, have a healthy and balanced diet, exercise and not smoke.
What to expect after ovarian cancer?
Once the chemotherapies are finished and the tumor has been eliminated, it is necessary to continue under observation and go to the gynecologist continuously, do periodic tests, laboratory tests and be aware of any changes in the body. It is essential to focus on following healthy habits, resting more often and putting stress aside.