About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is a strain of cancer that is limited to women as cancer patients and occurs in the ovaries of the female reproductive system. Every woman has two ovaries that are almond-sized sacks attached by ligaments in the uterus. They are incredibly important for two primary reproductive functions:
- Fertilization – They produce and release oocyte (eggs) during the menstrual cycle.
- Hormone production – They produce reproductive hormones progesterone and estrogen.
According to the Healthline, every year: “Approximately 21,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In addition, roughly 14,000 women in the U.S. will risk death from it in the next year.” It’s most commonly found in white women over the age of 40, with half of all cases of the disease occurring in women over the age of 63. A woman’s risk of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 108. This disease is almost as common as breast cancer. Ovarian cancer risk is high so it is important to educate yourself. Typical strains of ovarian cancer cells include:
- Epithelial tumors – Account for 90% of all ovarian cancers. They occur in the thin layer of tissue on the outside of the ovaries.
- Stromal tumors – Account for 7% of all ovarian cancers. They begin in the ovarian tissue that has hormone-producing cells. For that reason, this strain is far more diagnosable in the early stages because of the more obvious symptoms.
- Germ cell tumors – A rare type of ovarian cancer cells that occurs in the egg-producing cells of younger women cancer patients.
- Peritoneal cancer – A rare form of the disease that acts and looks like ovarian cancer since the ovaries and peritoneum are made of epithelial cells. As a result, they have very similar symptoms and targeted therapy , even though you can develop it even after your ovaries have been removed through surgery.
Causes and Risk Factors
Although we do not yet know the root causes for most ovarian cancers, we are aware of ovarian cancer risk factors that make a woman more susceptible to developing epithelial tumors. Common risk factors include:
- Older age – Although it can happen at any age, it most commonly occurs in women ranging from ages of 50 to 60.
- Estrogen hormone replacement therapy – Long-term use and/or large doses of artificial hormones increase risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Age when menstruation either began or ended – If you begin menstruation early or start menopause late, it may increase risk.
- Family history – There have been proven links of genetic inheritance of the disease.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Unfortunately, early-stage ovarian cancer infrequently manifests symptoms. Unlike breast cancer, even advanced-stage ovarian cancer rarely exhibits symptoms that aren’t relatively benign. As a result, it can be exceedingly difficult to detect in ovarian cancer patients. Such symptoms may look like:
- Feeling full after eating small amounts
- Frequent urination
- Pelvis discomfort
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss- loss of appetite
If you see the signs or symptoms, common clinical tests your doctor can perform include:
- Pelvic Exam – A doctor makes a digital insertion into the vagina and then presses his or her other hand against the abdomen in order to palpate the pelvic organs.
- Imaging tests – CT scans and ultrasounds can be taken of the abdomen and pelvis to better gauge the size, shape and structure of the ovaries.
- Blood tests – A blood test may be able to tell if you have cancer cells within your body. Blood is drawn to test against tumor markers and proteins commonly found on ovarian cancer cells.
- Surgery – Sometimes it’s necessary to have one of the ovaries removed to test it for cancer.
Stages of Ovarian Cancer
There are four stages of ovarian cancer. They are:
- Stage I – The cancer remains in the ovaries and has yet to spread to localized or distant organs.
- Stage II – The cancer is in either one or both ovaries. It has also spread to the fallopian tubes or uterus.
- Stage III – The cancer is in either one or both ovaries. It has spread beyond the pelvic region to the abdominal lining or lymph nodes.
- Stage IV – The cancer has advanced and metastasized to distant organs.
Immunity Therapy Center utilizes a variety of alternative treatment for ovarian cancer to strengthen your immune system to fight against the disease while directly targeting your Cancer Cells with targeted therapy. The type and combination of targeted therapyies we use vary depending on the type and location of Cancer, stage of Cancer, and the overall health and well-being of the individual. If you are interested in a customized alternative targeted therapy treatment plan or learning more about alternative therapy for Cancer Treatment reach out to Immunity Therapy Center today where we treat a large variety of cancer patients!
Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Ovarian Cancer Stages. https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/ovarian-cancer/stages
Baber, R. NCBI. Menopausal hormone therapy and ovarian cancer. (2015). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604667/
Cancer.org. Ovarian Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/what-causes.html