The main reason that ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecological cancer is because it is usually detected late or late, and this type of cancer also has the highest mortality rate. The highest rate of women suffering from ovarian cancer are from Europe, especially in the eastern and northern regions of Europe. In 2012 this number reached 65,000 patients, making this disease the sixth most common type of cancer among women in Europe. About 250,000 women a year get cancer.

Statistics on ovarian cancer.

Due to the late detection of this type of cancer, only 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survive five years after being diagnosed. This is because the cancer is in an advanced stage. If cancer is found early, this percentage can be increased to 95%.

Age plays no role with this type of cancer, as it can develop in women of all ages, but it is more likely to occur in women who are 50 years or older. More than 50% of ovarian cancer cases are women over 65 years of age. The highest incidence of ovarian cancer is in industrialized countries. African-American and Asian women are at lower risk than fair-skinned women.

The risk of developing the disease increases with age. Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic cancer and the fifth most common cancer in American women.  Representing 4% of all cancers that affect women. However, the death rate for ovarian cancer is higher than for any other type of cancer that affects women, due to its late detection.

Symptoms and Signs of Ovarian Cancer.

Usually there are early signs of the disease. Ovarian cancer is often referred to as the silent killer, because women are either unaware of what they have, or that symptoms are not accurately diagnosed until the disease is advanced.

The following symptoms are considered the main warning signs of ovarian cancer, but there can be many other reasons.

  • Pressure in the pelvis or frequent or urgent urination.
  • Digestive symptoms such as gas, indigestion, constipation, or a feeling of fullness after a light meal, bloating, cramps, and abdominal discomfort.
  • Unexplained changes in the gut.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia).
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal women.

10 causes of ovarian cancer.

So far, science has not found the true causes of ovarian cancer, but several factors are known to increase the chances of developing the disease.
Ovarian cancer is more likely to develop in these groups of women:

  1. White women, especially in northern Europe. Women over 50. Half of the diagnosed cases are women over 65 years of age.
  2. Women who had breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, endometrial (uterine), prostate, or colon cancer.
  3. Women with a genetic mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. (Not all women with these breast cancer gene mutations will develop ovarian cancer). Women who have a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, sister) diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  4. Motherhood and menstruation: Women who have never given birth have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have had children. In fact, the number of deliveries is directly correlated with a decrease in the risk of developing ovarian cancer.  The likely explanation for this risk factor seems to be related to the number of menstrual periods a woman has had in her life. Those who started menstruating early (before age 12), had no children, had their first child after age 30, and menopause after age 50 have a higher probability of developing ovarian cancer than the population experienced general.
  5. Medications: Some studies show that women who have taken fertility medications, or hormone therapy after menopause, may have a slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The use of oral contraceptives, on the other hand, appears to decrease women’s likelihood of contracting the disease.
  6. The American Cancer Society reports that obese women have a higher rate of death from ovarian cancer than women of normal weight.
  7. Using talcum powder: Some studies report a slightly elevated risk of ovarian cancer in women who regularly apply talcum powder to the genital area. A similar risk has not been reported for cornstarch powders.

How is this type of cancer diagnosed?

There are no tests that can reliably show whether a woman has early-stage ovarian cancer. Some diagnostic procedures include a comprehensive laparoscopic diagnosis, bimanual pelvic exam, and various X-ray procedures.

The only thing that can be done is an ultrasound of the abdomen and lower pelvic region or a transvaginal probe. A ca-125 blood test is used to determine the level of ca-125, a marker for tumors. A low GI or barium enema involves a series of x-rays to highlight the other organs.

The awareness among women and their gynecologists should be at a high level, because this is more than necessary, to have regular check-ups, especially in cases of distention where cancer can be detected and diagnosed at an early stage when it can be really cured.

Regular checkups should be done if you have a family history of this disease, as you are at high risk.

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