World Ovarian Cancer Day: Causes, Symptoms and Risks, All You Should Know

World Ovarian Cancer Day: Causes, Symptoms and Risks, All You Should Know

Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly cancers known. Here are the symptoms and prevention measures to look out for.

Amisha ShirgaveUpdated: Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 01:57 PM IST
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World Ovarian Cancer Day is observed on May 8 every year. It aims at spreading awareness and raising voices in the fight against ovarian cancer. It is one of the most lethal female cancers known. Due to its lack of symptoms and no suspicious signs during screening, it is usually detected at a later stage. Most people are diagnosed when the cancer has already spread, making it difficult to treat. Let’s have a look at what those symptoms could be.

Bloating

If you notice persistent bloating or unusual swelling in the abdomen area, you should consult a gynecologist about the same. 

Abnormal Bleeding and Pain During Sex

If you are bleeding post menopause, it is a matter of concern, and you should get it checked with your health provider. If you are young and have consistent irregular periods, you should get yourself checked too. Also, if you experience pain during sexual intercourse, it is advisable to see a doctor.

Extreme Fatigue

If you feel exhausted easily or sleepy even after a good night’s sleep, this could be a sign for you to see your doctor.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Sudden weight loss and drastic change in your appetite is also a symptom to look out for. 

Frequent Urination

If you constantly get the urge to use the loo and find it difficult to control urination, it might be a symptom you shouldn't miss. 

Anyone born with ovaries is at risk of ovarian cancer. There are several factors and risks that can cause ovarian cancer. Let’s have a look.

What Are The Risks?

Age

Ovarian Cancer is most commonly seen in women aged between 50-70. The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you keep getting older. However, there is no guarantee that you won't develop it at a younger age. 

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue growth takes place inside the uterus lining, increasing the risk of ovarian cancer. Constant treatment for endometriosis and observation under healthcare facilities can be helpful to manage the risk. 

Obesity

Hormonal imbalances accused due to obesity pose a risk of promoting the growth of cancerous cells. Regular exercise and diet can help you manage this risk. 

Previous Cancer History

If you were previously diagnosed with any type of cancer, you are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer. Regular screens are recommended for timely detection and treatment.

Smoking

Smoking is always injurious to health. Although you have high chances of getting lung cancer due to smoking, it also poses a risk of getting ovarian cancer. Quit smoking today and diminish this risk. 

How To Reduce The Risk Of Ovarian Cancer?

Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills are said to reduce your chances of getting ovarian cancer. Especially if you've used it for five years or more. The effect of consuming the pills lasts even after you stop taking them and might just prevent you from developing ovarian cancer.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Well, having children is proven to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. It is so because, while you're pregnant, you are not ovulating. The less you ovulate, the lower the risk of ovarian cancer.

Preventive Surgeries

This involves either getting your fallopian tubes tied or removed or having hysterectomy, where women undergo surgery and remove their womb to avoid the risks of diseases. By doing so, women are at a lesser risk of developing ovarian cancer.

"The management of a woman at high risk of ovarian cancer must be individualized and depends on several factors such as patient age or reproductive desires. She should be evaluated by a geneticist and oncologist. So far there are no recommended guidelines for screening of ovarian cancer, but certain societies suggest screening of high risk women with TVS trans vaginal ultrasound and CA125, mammogram/MRI breast", says Dr. Pratima Raj, Associate Consultant - Gynaecological Oncology, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore.

Hope you are aware of what ovarian cancer is now and spread more awareness about it so that it can help someone in need.

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