Ovarian Cancer

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Overview

Ovarian cancer is a cancer of the ovaries. The ovary is a part of the female reproductive system, and its function is to produce the eggs, and the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The cells involved in cancer can classify the types of ovarian cancers:

  • Epithelial cell tumors
  • Stromal cell tumors
  • Germ cell tumors

Causes

Like all cancers, ovarian cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA in some of the cells of the ovary. The mutation leads to an uncontrolled multiplication of the cells, leading to the formation of a mass of abnormal cells. The abnormal cells can invade the surrounding structures or can break off from the mass to spread to other parts of the body.

Symptoms

In its early stages, ovarian cancer does not produce any symptoms, however as the disease progresses, and spreads to involve more areas of the abdomen, some of the following signs and symptoms present:

Diagnosis

The following tests can help in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer:

  • Pelvic examination
  • CT scan pelvis
  • CT scan abdomen
  • CA 125 test
  • Surgical removal of the ovary to test for cancer cells

Treatment

  • Surgical removal of one ovary
  • Surgical removal of both ovaries
  • Surgical removal of both ovaries and uterus
  • Chemotherapy
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