Ovarian Cancer Awareness

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The simplest way to define how cancer is caused is; that cancer is an ailment which is caused by abnormal multiplication of cells from a certain part of the body. This is a disease which starts from one organ, and spreads to other parts of the body at later stages. The ovaries of a woman are located in the pelvis and are a major organ in the body of a woman. These are organs which are used to control female hormones and produce egg.

The month of September is celebrated as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month all across the globe. Every woman should be aware of this cancer, because this cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Being aware about this cancer will help in early detection and in return gives the woman a healthy and long life. If this cancer is treated in the early stages, it is most effective then. This cancer does not show any major signs and symptoms which will allow the woman to think in this track, but even if there is any change which is observed after the age of 55 years, one should not ignore it, and visit a doctor soon. It is not necessary that the symptoms are of ovarian cancer, but it is always advised to visit a doctor and take precautions.

Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?

This is a cancer which can strike any woman above the age of 45 years, but in majority of the cases which are registered in the American Cancer Foundation, the women who are above the age of 60 years are more prone to this cancer.

In the United States of America, nearly 25,000 women get this cancer on an annual basis. Amongst women in the United States, this is the fifth most occurring cancer after breast, lung, pancreatic and colorectal. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, but it accounts for only about 3% of all cancers in women. When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective.

The best way to be aware of ovarian cancer is by knowing its symptoms and causes.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer: -

There are many signs and symptoms which determine the presence of ovarian cancer. The sad part about these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer is that they start to show when the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries of a woman, which means the cancer has reached stage 2.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal or Pelvic pain
  • Feeling full even after small meals
  • Frequent urination or urgent urination. Even if there is no flow, there is always a feeling of going to the washroom

The symptoms which are mentioned above are very generic in nature and do not indicate any sort of cancer symptoms. This is where there is a lot of misconception which is caused in the minds of the women, and they tend to ignore these signs. The only time when these alarming signs are given importance is when they become constant, and tend to start troubling further. They start to become more severe, and tend to show up in a more frequent way.

Others symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

  • Severe tiredness or fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle

The causes of ovarian cancer are: -

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is still not known, but general causes of this cancer can create the much needed awareness of this malignancy. This is a cancer which is observed more commonly in the women who are put up in developed countries, and also for those who have gone through menopause.

Also, a known fact is the inheritance of abnormal genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of ovarian cancer, and also of breast cancer. Hereditary also plays a key role in causing ovarian cancer. If a close relative like mother, sister or daughter with ovarian cancer doesn't necessarily mean that there is a faulty inherited gene in your family. The cancers could have happened by chance.

Other factors that are thought to cause this cancer can be: -

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (especially if this therapy has been going on for more than five years)
  • Endometriosis
  • Obesity (in pre-menopausal women)
  • Starting the menstrual cycle early and having the menopause late
  • Regular smoking or heavy smoking

But it is also proved that the risk of ovarian cancer may be less common in women who have:

  • Consumed contraceptive pill
  • Have more than three children
  • Breastfed their children
  • Has had a hysterectomy

Ovarian cancer awareness can be caused by knowing at least the basics of this disease. This is a way by which the risk of attaining this cancer can be reduced, and also if any changes are observed in the body a woman can do a self detection. It is necessary to be aware of this cancer, and also to diagnose it at an early stage, so that the life of the woman can be longer and healthier.

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