is Ovarian Cancer?
Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. They all affect the body's basic unit, the cell. Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and keep dividing and forming more cells without control or order.
The ovaries are made up of many types of cells. Usually, cells divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This process helps keep us healthy. When cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This mass of extra tissue, called a growth, or tumor, can be benign or malignant. No one can catch ovarian cancer from another person.
Personal story about fighting ovarian cancer.
Benign tumors are not cancer. Benign tumors can usually be removed and, usually, they do not come back. Cells from benign tumors do not invade nearby tissues and do not spread to other parts of the body. Benign tumors are rarely life - threatening.
Malignant tumors are cancer. Cancer cells can invade and damage tissues and organs near the tumor. Cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor in the ovary and spread to other organs and form new tumors. Ovarian cancer may spread to the colon, the stomach, and the diaphragm. The cancer cells can also enter the lymphatic system or the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
The most common type of ovarian cancer is called epithelial carcinomas. Epithelial carcinomas begin in the lining of the ovary.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer?
The cause of ovarian cancer is unknown.
What are the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of ovarian cancer. In many cases, the cancer has spread to other organs when it is detected. The cancer may grow for some time before it causes pressure, pain, or other problems. Even when symptoms appear, they may be so vague that they are ignored.
Some of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?
Ultrasonography, a CAT scan, a lower GI series or an intravenous pyelogram may be used to diagnose ovarian cancer. Ultrasonography is the use of high-frequency sound waves. Healthy tissues, fluid-filled cysts, and tumors produce different echoes when the waves are placed on them. CT (or CAT) scan is a series of x-rays put together by a computer. A lower GI series, (or barium enema), is a series of x-rays of the colon and rectum.An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray of the kidneys and ureters, taken after the injection of a dye.
How is ovarian cancer treated?
Ovarian cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
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