Ovarian Cancer

3/16/12 Labels: ,

Ovarian cancer has been known as a silent killer, simply because the early symptoms of this cancer are often misdiagnosed. Because of this, only 20% of ovarian cancers are found before they have spread past the ovaries. The cancer begins in the ovaries which are only about the size of an almond, and are located on each side of the uterus. The ovaries are responsible for producing the eggs and releasing them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce two female hormones known as estrogen and progesterone. High levels of these hormones is linked to the cause of ovarian cancer.

Tumors which form in the ovaries can be cancerous, or non-cancerous. The non-cancerous tumors do not spread, but they do cause the body to create more estrogen, which in turn can cause cancer. Tumors that are cancerous eventually spread to the outside of the ovaries and spread through the bloodstream or lymph nodes to other parts of the body. The tumors can affect one or both ovaries.

If the cancer is diagnosed early, one has a better chance of surviving. But the early symptoms are difficult to diagnose because they are similar to many other common ailments. The main difference between the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and those of common ailments is that the symptoms of ovarian cancer do not fluctuate, or disappear, but rather they gradually become worse as the cancer cells grow. Most symptoms of common ailments will disappear within a day or two.

Some of the symptoms are digestive disorders, bladder disorders, bloating, constipation, fatigue, and lower back pain. If these symptoms occur and do not go away after a week then it may be a good idea to have it checked out by a medical doctor.

Knowing whether or not one is at risk may also help to determine whether the symptoms are something to worry about or not. As one ages the risk of ovarian cancer increases, and usually the cancer occurs in women who have gone through menopause. Hormone replacement therapy also plays a major role.

Obesity is linked to more severe cancers, and increases the risk by 80%. A drug called danazol, has also been known to increase the risk. It is a male hormone (androgen) which is used to treat endometriosis. A high fat diet also largely increases the risk.

The best defense is to eat a raw food diet, with lots of leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs. Avoiding animal proteins, refined sugars, as well as processed foods will help to maintain a healthy weight, thus eliminating one of the greatest risk factors.

Ovarian Cancer In Women: Be Aware Of The Symptoms

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The symptoms of ovarian cancer in women can be difficult to notice. Many people may put the signs down to something else. In the United Kingdom alone 7000 women a year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

If the cancer is diagnosed early the treatment may be more effective, the people more at risk of developing ovarian cancer are those aged 30+, and post menopausal women.

It is important for women to know that a cervical smear test, does not pick up on ovarian cancer, smear tests usually just look for abnormal cells that may be a sign of cervical cancer.

Some of the early signs that you may have ovarian cancer are;

- Constant pains in the abdomen, much like period pains
- Bloating of the stomach (not just after eating)
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination or having trouble urinating
- Bowel problems such as diarrhea or constipation
- Tiredness
- Pains in the back or neck
- Weight loss (only if it is unexplained)

As I stated above these symptoms can often be mistook for something else. Some women may feel abdominal pains before their period along with a bloated feeling.

Because symptoms of ovarian cancer in women can be like regular everyday problems for most, because of this delay the cancer can often spread. This makes treatment more intense and the success rate may be lower than that if the cancer was diagnosed earlier.

This cancer can sometimes be hereditary, if 2 or more members of your family have previously suffered with breast or ovarian cancer you should let your doctor know.

Some younger women often ignore the symptoms mentioned above, this may be because they feel that the cancer is a problem that only affects the older woman. It may be because they have no idea that the symptoms they are experiencing are like those for ovarian cancer.

If you are noticing any of the above symptoms on a daily basis, I urge you to seek advice from your doctor or other health professional. It may be nothing to worry about, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

It is not a very common form of cancer, more common forms are breast, cervical cancer in women or testicular cancer in men.

If you think you may be suffering with any of these symptoms then you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible, I urge you to do this for any symptoms, not just the ones I have mentioned above. If you have already spoken with your doctor, and your symptoms are getting worse, go back and ask your doctor for more accurate tests.

As the symptoms of ovarian cancer in women are similar to those you would get with a period, you may feel like it is not important enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, this can be detrimental to your health. Early detection of the cancer may save lives! If you or someone you know is having any of these problems please get it checked out.

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