Ovarian cancer ranks as the second-most prevalent cancer affecting female reproductive organs.

While it can occur in young girls and women during their childbearing years, it predominantly affects those aged 40 to 60. This cancer originates from the formation of malignant cells in the ovaries.

Recognising the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Early Symptoms

Ovarian cancer in its initial stages might not exhibit any signs. However, it's crucial to seek medical advice if you notice symptoms such as:

  • Pelvic or abdominal discomfort
  • Challenges with eating, indigestion, or persistent stomach pain
  • Quickly feeling full, despite consuming minimal food
  • Persistent nausea
  • Changes in bowel habits, including diarrhoea or constipation
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual weight fluctuations
  • Atypical vaginal bleeding

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of ovarian cancer remains unclear, but several risk factors have been identified:

  • A family history of ovarian cancer
  • Age over 50 years
  • Early onset of menstruation (before age 12)
  • No history of pregnancy or childbirth
  • First childbirth after 30
  • Menopause after 55
  • Previous breast or bowel cancer history

Treatment Options for Ovarian Cancer

Treatment depends on factors like the cancer's stage. Options include:

  • Surgery: For small, localised tumours, surgical removal may be advised.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells but can also affect healthy cells.
  • Radiation Therapy: This involves using radiation to shrink tumours, either externally or internally administered.

Preventing Ovarian Cancer

As the exact prevention methods are unknown, regular health check-ups, including pelvic ultrasounds, are recommended to detect any unusual changes early.