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Ovarian cancer illustrates only 1.3
percent of newly diagnosed cancer cases every year. (Altshul, 2016). The most
common form of this cancer develops by developing in the epithelial
cells, cells that exist to line the exterior and cavities in the body. These
cells can be found on the ovaries, which is where the cancer gets its start. (2018)
A lot of the time the tumors that form from the effected cells are not
cancerous and never expand outside of the ovaries. (n.d.) If they do however,
this is how the cancer gets its dangerous start.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are
often hard to detect because they are similar to symptoms that women can
experience every month due to their menstrual cycle and often when these
symptoms are detected you are already in the later stages of the diagnosis. The
most common symptoms women experience are pelvic pain, bloating or fatigue,
back pain, constipation, and menstrual changes. (2018) This cancer usually goes
undetected and untreated until it has already spread throughout the pelvis and
abdomen. (2014)

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The risk factors for cancer apply to
all women and can occur at any age. But it is most common for women ages 50 to
60. Because it is a cancer that potentially any women had the possibility to get
there are many possible risk factors other than age. Some of these include:
gene mutations, estrogen hormone replacement therapy, age when menstruation
starts and ends, never being pregnant, fertility treatments, smoking, and
polycystic ovarian syndrome. (2014) The most uncommon of the risk factors are
the gene mutations. breast
cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2) are the genes
responsible for the heightened risk of ovarian cancer in women. Usually if the
cancers form together in clusters it is identified as inherited gene mutations.
(2018) Hereditary forms of this cancer usually form earlier in life and risk also
increases if you take estrogen hormone replacement. This hormone replacement is
often used when women want to try and ease the problems that accompany
menopause. There have been many studies done on this topic and most of the
studies have resulted in some evidence to support a possible causal
relationship between the replacement hormones and ovarian cancer. (Green, 2018)
This doesn’t mean however that it is necessarily bad to take these hormone
replacements. If you avoid these replacements than it may reduce the fatality
of the cancer, but is not the most prominent cause of this form of cancer.

This form cancer is usually diagnosed in the later stages of its
development. However, it can be diagnosed by the doctor performing pelvic
examinations, blood tests, and imaging tests. Performing pelvic exams is
usually a common practice at any women’s checkup, and can help in identifying
ovarian cancer. But even with these exams it is still very difficult to
identify the tumors because of the location of the ovaries. This is why most
imaging tests are performed, just to make sure that the doctor isn’t missing
anything. (2016) If you are diagnosed, there are four different stages that
your cancer can be at. Stage one is where the cancer is identified in either
one or both of the ovaries, stage two is where the cancer has spread to
multiple parts of the pelvis, stage three is identified when the cancer has
spread to the abdomen, and in the final stage, stage five, the cancer has
spread to outside of the abdomen and to the rest of the body. (2018)

            Treatment
for ovarian cancer is similar other types of cancer. This includes surgery and
chemotherapy (2018). Usually the surgery for this type of cancer is to remove
both of the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and also any other areas in the
abdomen or pelvic area that were affected by the cancer. Because of this
procedure, it does not allow for the woman to carry a child, but if the cancer
was caught at an earlier stage, there is a possibility the cancer could be
removed without hindering the change of becoming pregnant. Chemotherapy is done
after the surgery is completed in order to remove any remaining cancer cells that
have been left in the body. Chemotherapy can also be the first method of
treatment for women who have very advanced or inoperable forms of ovarian
cancer. Often, the chemotherapy medicine is injected into the veins or even can
be directly injected in the abdomen.

            Local
providers that treat and care for women with ovarian cancer are somewhat
limited in Lincoln, Nebraska. The most common place that women with this cancer
are sent is to the Nebraska Medicine Center in Omaha. There, they have many options
for treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cancer surgery, and
many more (n.d.). They also have leading technology in robotic surgery. With
this technology, they are able to perform more precise operations and lessens
the recovery time, most patients are able to go home the day after surgery.

            Even
though there are not many specific ovarian cancer resources in Lincoln, there
are however, many support groups dedicated to helping individuals cope with
cancer. Hospitals and organizations such as Bryan Health (n.d.), Saint
Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center (n.d.), and many others, offer support
groups for people with all types of cancer. 

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