By 2023, International Ovarian Cancer Day, an expert will have explained the causes of asymptomatic ovarian cancer.
A serious health problem for women is ovarian cancer, a kind of cancer that develops in the ovaries. It's critical to emphasise that many women with ovarian cancer exhibit zero symptoms. With more fatalities than any other gynaecological disease, it is the third most frequent cancer in women in India, behind breast and cervical cancer. Early ovarian cancer identification is frequently hampered by the absence of symptoms, which might result in detection at an advanced stage and less effective therapy, which ultimately lowers survival chances. Increased awareness among women and improved access to healthcare services are therefore necessary to overcome the difficulties and burdens related to early detection.
Here are some reasons why many women with ovarian cancer may not exhibit any symptoms at all
1. Hiding place: Because the ovaries are situated deep within the pelvis, tiny tumours can lie undetected until they enlarge or spread.
2. Mimicking other diseases: Because ovarian cancer can spread to nearby pelvic organs like the bladder or rectum, it might produce symptoms that are wrongly attributed to other diseases.
3. General symptoms: Pelvic pain, bloating in the abdomen, and similar symptoms are not particular to ovarian cancer and have a variety of other causes.
4. Variations in subtypes: Certain ovarian cancer subtypes, such germ cell tumours or stromal tumours, may not manifest any symptoms until they are rather large.
The significance of routine ovarian cancer screening
Frequent exams are essential for the early discovery and successful treatment of ovarian cancer. Given the difficulties in diagnosing ovarian cancer in its early stages, routine gynaecological examinations and pelvic exams by medical professionals, particularly for women who are more likely to develop ovarian cancer, are essential tools for detecting the condition before symptoms appear.
A rectovaginal pelvic examination and a blood test for CA-125 are the two most frequent screening procedures for ovarian cancer. These tests assist in identifying the underlying cause of the unexplained indications or symptoms. Similar to this, transvaginal ultrasounds may identify anomalies that demand additional research. For females with inherited risks such BRCA 1, BRCA 2, or abnormalities in the mismatch repair gene, screening is advised.
Women who have a personal history of endometriosis, cancer, or a genetic mutation like BRCA1 or BRCA2, who smoke, are obese, have undergone hormone therapy after menopause, have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or colorectal cancer, or who have any of these risk factors are more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Women who fit these descriptions must talk to their doctor about their risk and get regular checkups. Frequent checkups enable close monitoring, tailored risk assessment for high-risk patients, and timely intervention and preventative measures, all of which help in the early discovery of ovarian cancer.
A thorough method of ovarian cancer detection
A thorough strategy to ovarian cancer screening includes a variety of elements in addition to routine checkups, such as educating women about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Women can be encouraged to seek quick medical assistance by being informed about the disease's nonspecific symptoms, such as abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, dyspepsia, appetite loss, and frequent or urgent urination.
Also, when assessing patients with these symptoms, doctors must be alert and take ovarian cancer into account. A healthy lifestyle and the control of risk factors can also help to lower the occurrence of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer risk can be decreased by engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and abstaining from smoking and heavy alcohol use.
We can work to overcome the difficulties involved in diagnosing ovarian cancer in its early stages and eventually enhance the prognosis and wellbeing of women impacted by this disease by encouraging early identification, risk reduction, and prompt access to care.