What is ovarian cancer?

Current research suggests that this type of cancer begins in the fallopian tubes and  then moves to the ovaries, with  the twin organs that produce a woman's eggs and the main source of female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone

Symptoms of ovarian cancer:-

Early ovarian cancer rarely has symptoms. As the disease progresses, some symptoms may appear. These include:

*Swelling or pressure in the belly.

*Pain in the abdomen or pelvis

*Feeling full too quickly during meals.

*Urinate more frequently

These symptoms can be caused by many other conditions that are not cancer. If they persist for more than a few weeks, visit your doctor.

What is the high risk for ovarian cancer?

Most cancers of the risk developing in ovarian cancer increases as a woman ages. Women over age  50 are at higher risk, and most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who have almost gone through menopause and  more than half of the diagnosed ovarian cancer cases are women who are over 65 years of age.

What is the main cause of ovarian cancer?

A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by genetic mutations that you inherit from your parents. Genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2. These genes also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Types of ovarian cancer:-

Epithelial: These tumors develop in the layer of tissue on the outside of the ovaries.

Stroma: These tumors grow in hormone-producing cells.

Germ cell: These tumors develop into egg-producing cells.

Stages of ovarian cancer:-

*stage I- Limited to one or both ovaries

*stageII- Limited to the pelvis

*StageIII-Disease outside of the pelvis, but limited to the abdomen, or lymph node involvement, but not including the inside of the liver

*stage IV-Disease spread to the liver or outside of the abdomen

The survival rate of ovarian cancer:-

The Survival Rates of ovarian cancer are as below


Stage II-78%

Stage III-65%

Stage IV-35%

What can mimic the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cysts: fluid-filled sacs in or around the ovaries.

Irritable bowel syndrome: a chronic digestive disorder

PMS: Menstrual Symptoms in the Days Before Your Period

Endometriosis - abnormal growth of the uterine lining outside the uterus into the surrounding tissue

Menstruation - Your normal menstrual cycle may include pelvic cramps and abdominal discomfort

Uterine fibroids: benign muscle tumors that grow on the uterine wall. They are generally harmless unless they get too big.

Pelvic infection: sexually transmitted disease or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Do ovarian cancer symptoms come on suddenly?

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are sometimes difficult to recognize because they are similar to those of other conditions. Experts are that anyone experiencing unexplained abdominal symptoms lasting more than 2 weeks should see their healthcare provider.

Does ovarian cancer spread quickly?

Ovarian cancer grows rapidly and can progress from early to advanced stages in a year. With the most common form, malignant epithelial carcinoma, cancer cells can grow out of control rapidly and spread within weeks or months.

It is essential to pay attention to the symptoms, which can help improve the chances of being diagnosed and treated early. Early detection of cancer will improve the prognosis. Unfortunately, 80% of ovarian cancer patients are not diagnosed until the disease has spread throughout their entire abdominal cavity.

What are the protective factors for ovarian cancer?

The contraceptive pill, also known as a combined oral contraceptive, has other benefits in addition to preventing pregnancy. The pill can cut your risk of ovarian cancer by almost half if you take it for 10 years. However, birth control pills can increase your risk for other diseases, so weigh the benefits and risks with a trusted healthcare provider.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding reduce the chance of developing ovarian cancer. The fewer ovulatory cycles a woman has (due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or contraception), the lower the risk she will have of ovarian cancer during her lifetime. Breastfeeding often decreases the number of cycles a woman experiences.

A hysterectomy with removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries decreases the risk of ovarian cancer. However, many women who have a hysterectomy leave their ovaries in place to maintain their normal hormones.

How can you treat ovarian cancer?

Treatment options for ovarian cancer include surgery and chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Surgery involves removing the affected ovary (ovaries) or ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus and performing a biopsy to evaluate cancer cells.

*Surgery-surgery is the main treatment. You may choose to remove the ovary and the tissue affected by cancer. However, some women prefer to remove both the ovaries and the uterus and fallopian tubes to reduce the risk of recurrence.

*Chemotherapy-chemotherapy is a treatment that enters the bloodstream and kills cancer cells. It can be beneficial, but it also damages healthy cells in the body.

*Hormone therapy-hormone therapy blocks the production of hormones that cause tumors to grow and spread.

*Targeted therapy-targeted therapy is a newer treatment that kills cancer cells but minimizes damage to healthy cells.

*Radiation therapy -radiation therapy for cancer that has spread beyond the ovaries. It uses energy particles and X-rays to destroy cancer cells. 

Can you fully recover from ovarian cancer?

Yes, many women can fully recover from ovarian cancer after surgery or chemotherapy. Ovarian cancers caused by germ cell or stromal tumors have high survival rates. However, epithelial carcinoma is the most common type of ovarian cancer and has lower survival rates.

Where should I seek diagnosis and treatment?

The University of Kansas Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the region. The cancer center is transforming the experience of ovarian cancer patients by providing compassionate care and support throughout the diagnosis and by offering the latest and most innovative treatments for ovarian cancer. 

The Women's Cancer Center focuses solely on women's cancers, including gynecological and breast diseases. Our cancer care teams are dedicated to improving patient outcomes.

How long does ovarian cancer take to kill you?

The finding is disappointing, the researchers said, especially since doctors have believed that detecting more cases of ovarian cancer early can help extend women's lives after diagnosis. Ovarian cancer kills most women with the disease within 5 years.

Is ovarian cancer always fatal?

Epithelial ovarian cancer is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. About 80% of patients will eventually die from the disease. However, the short-term survival is quite good, that is, many years. With the addition of IP chemotherapy, ovarian cancer survival has been significantly extended.

Cervical Cancer Awareness

Let's watch the informative video on Kidney Cancer Awareness by Dr. Chinmaya Pani, Senior Consultant - Medical Oncologist
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