Ovaries, so small yet such a significant and powerful part of the women’s body. The ovaries are a fundamental part of a woman’s reproductive system. Located inside the pelvis, each ovary is only about the size of an almond but when not functioning properly can greatly change a women’s balance. You see, the ovaries make the female hormones — estrogen and progesterone which contribute to a number of signals the women’s body needs. They also release reproductive eggs, an obvious key factor in the ability to reproduce your own children.
While ovaries help contribute to the creation of life, cancer on the other hand can take away life. Cancer begins in cells, the building blocks that make up tissues. Tissues make up the organs of the body. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.
Ovarian cancer can do three things inside our body and effect our entire body. Ovarian cancer can invade, shed, or spread to other organs:
- Invade: A malignant ovarian tumor can grow and invade organs next to the ovaries, such as the fallopian tubes and uterus.
- Shed: Cancer cells can shed (break off) from the main ovarian tumor. Shedding into the abdomen may lead to new tumors forming on the surface of nearby organs and tissues. The doctor may call these seeds or implants.
- Spread: Cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic system to lymph nodes in the pelvis, abdomen, and chest. Cancer cells may also spread through the bloodstream to organs such as the liver and lungs.
Some studies have shown that the following risk factors contribute to the possibility that a women may develop ovarian cancer:
- Family history of cancer: Women who have a mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer or cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum have an increased risk of the disease.
- Personal history of cancer: Women who have had cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
- Age over 55: Most women are over age 55 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
- Never pregnant: Older women who have never been pregnant have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
- Menopausal hormone therapy: Some studies have suggested that women who take estrogen by itself (estrogen without progesterone) for 10 or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer
The scariest part of this all is that Ovarian Cancer Whispers – so listen carefully and don’t ignore the signs …
- Watch for Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
- Vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
- Frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss; pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
- Ongoing unusual fatigue
- Or unexplained changes in bowel habits.
Any of those symptoms sound familiar? To me that sounds like my first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I don’t say that to be funny, but as an eye opener. I do not want to take away the joy and excitement of those first few days you ‘think’ your pregnant, but now I am even more determined to have it confirmed by a doctor that so I can rule out the symptoms being misread.
If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, ask your doctor for a combination pelvic/rectal exam, CA-125 blood test, and transvaginal ultrasound. A Pap Test WILL NOT detect ovarian cancer.
Source: http://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cancer/article.htm. I shared this information for the benefits of my readers.