By: Prof. Dr. Seyed Saeid Zamanieh Shahri, MD  and  Prof. Dr. Sonia Sayyedalhosseini, MD

Genital surgery: If you have a history of genital surgery, the risk of ovarian cancer decreases. In women who undergo laser treatment of the fallopian tubes, the risk of infection is reduced by 70%. Also, hysterectomy reduces the risk of infection by 30%.

Endometriosis: 

Women with endometriosis have a 30% higher risk of developing this cancer than other women.

Signs and symptoms:

Pelvic pain can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Most ovarian cancers initially involve the outer lining or epithelium in the ovaries. In the early stages of cancer, there may be no symptoms or very few symptoms. Symptoms of ovarian cancer may be similar to those of other conditions or conditions, such as premenstrual syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, or a temporary bladder problem. The main difference between this cancer and other diseases is the persistence and progress in the amount of pain and symptoms.

The first symptoms of ovarian cancer include the following:

• Pain in the pelvis, lower abdomen or lower body

• Pain in the back and lower back

• Indigestion and heartburn

• Early feeling of fullness

• Frequent urination

• Pain during intercourse

• Changes in digestion and bowel function such as constipation

Symptoms of advanced ovarian cancer:

• Nausea

• Sudden weight loss

• Breathing with difficulty

• Fatigue

• Anorexia

In some circumstances, things like stomach bloating and pressure or pain in the abdomen and pelvis are seen for more than a few weeks, which should be referred to an oncology doctor immediately.

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Diagnosis:

In order to make a diagnosis, the doctor examines the pelvic area to feel any suspicious things in the uterus and ovaries. Also, the patient’s family history and medical history are checked. 

The following tests are done to help diagnose ovarian cancer:

Blood test: It is done to measure a special factor in the blood called CA-125.

Visual tests: ultrasound of the vaginal area, MRI, CT scan, etc. 

Laparoscopy: 

A laparoscope (tube equipped with a camera) is surgically inserted into the lower part of the abdomen and gives the doctor the ability to observe the state of the ovaries and, if necessary, take a sample of its tissue for culture.

Colonoscopy:

 If constipation or bleeding in the anus is seen, a colonoscopy is probably needed to check the colon.

Abdominal fluid aspiration: 

If the patient’s abdomen is swollen, some fluid may have collected in the lower abdomen, which can be sampled using a syringe for testing.

Biopsy: 

The usual way to diagnose ovarian cancer is to remove the tumor or a part of the tumor and perform relevant tests to find cancer cells under microscope.

Staging Ovarian Cancer: 

If this cancer is diagnosed, the next step is to determine the stage of the disease and its grade.

The stage of cancer refers to the extent of this disease. There are different methods to determine the degree of cancer. 

Below we describe each of the stages of the disease:

First stage: 

cancer cells involve only one ovary or both ovaries and do not spread to other areas and organs.

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Second stage: cancer involves one or both ovaries and spreads to the areas around the pelvis, especially the uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder and anus.

Third stage:

Cancer affects one or both ovaries and spreads to the abdominal tissue and lymph nodes.

Fourth stage: 

Cancer spreads to other body tissues, outside of the genital area. These areas include the abdomen and pelvis. Other organs of the body, such as the liver, spleen, and fluid around the lungs, are also involved.

Correct diagnosis of the degree and stage of this disease helps the doctor to choose the best treatment. But the correct diagnosis of the degree of this cancer cannot help in predicting its progress. The End

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