Ovarian Cancer is a Serious and Dangerous Form of Cancer

Cancer has the capacity to strike at anyone. A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly taxing on the mental state of an individual and their family. There are many forms of cancer that will only strike at a single gender. Most people think of breast cancer, and while that’s mostly female, men can also get it. Women can suffer from cervical, vaginal or uterine cancers. Arguably the most common and well known of the purely female cancers is ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is far more common than many people realize. Typically around 1 of 75 women with ovaries will develop ovarian cancer. That doesn’t mean it’s the end. Ovarian cancer can be treated and research continues to work to find a cure. Better understanding ovarian cancer can only help in diagnosis and treatment.

Causes and Types of Ovarian Cancer

The specific cause of ovarian cancer isn’t known. This is the same as most cancers. However, there are some risk factors which have been shown to increase the potential chance for getting ovarian cancer. It’s far more common in older women. Those ages 50 and over have a higher rate. Women who have abnormal menstruation patterns (starting at a much earlier age than average or much later than average) also have a higher incidence of getting Ovarian cancer. There are different types of ovarian cancers. These include:

  • Epithelial Tumors - These are the most common tumors and are found in the tissue outside of the ovary. Typically around 9 out of every 10 cases of ovarian cancer comes in this form.
  • Stromal Tumors - The second most common form are stromal tumors. These are more likely to be found early and start in the cells within the ovaries that produce hormones.
  • Germ Cell Tumors - These are the most rare of ovarian cancers. These tumors start in the cells that produce a woman’s eggs. This type of cancer is more likely to be found in a younger woman.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can change depending on the severity of the situations. Advanced ovarian cancer will show symptoms more frequently and forcefully. The downside to these symptoms is that they are often misrepresented. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often very representative of other conditions and can very easily be misdiagnosed. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Weight Loss - Typically the weight loss will be unexpected.
  • Bloating and Swelling - This will occur within a woman’s abdominal area.
  • Pelvic Discomfort - This can evolve into serious pain as the cancer develops.
  • Bowel Changes - People with ovarian cancer may feel constipated.
  • Frequent Urination - This symptom will increase the natural need to urinate a person has.
  • Feeling Full - Women eating may feel full very quickly when they start eating.

Ovarian Cancer Research

Like many cancers, there are an assortment of ovarian cancer foundations that work to attempt to raise awareness and funds for research towards curing ovarian cancer. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Take Early Action and Live initiative are two such groups that work to help spread awareness so that people can better understand the symptoms and detection of ovarian cancer.   

For people interested in cancer research, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance is one of the biggest funders of research in the world. They do everything they can to support the research and eventual eradication of women’s cancers, obviously focusing on ovarian cancer.

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