Break the cycle Ovarian Cancer is not a “Silent Killer”
November 04, 2012
According to estimations by the American Cancer Society (2012) about 70 percent of women diagnosed with late stages of epithelial ovarian cancer will not survive the disease, based on a five year survival rate. This year over 15,000 women will lose their lives to ovarian cancer. This disease does not discriminate between age and ethnicity. Ovarian cancer can affect mothers, daughter, grandmothers, sisters and aunts. The American Cancer Society (2012) asserts ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women. Ovarian cancer is called the “Silent Killer” because most women do not show signs of ...view middle of the document...
Women have to take important measures to make sure they are not at risk of this deadly disease. Speaking with a doctor and getting regular checkups will help determine if there are any risks. Although, an ovarian cyst or tumor may not always show symptoms until they rupture, twist or bleed there are signs a women should look for if they believe they are at risk. These signs include pain or bloating in the abdomen, pain during menstruation and abnormal bleeding, weight gain, nausea or vomiting and loss of appetite. These symptoms can be because of other health issues, so it is extremely important to see a doctor.
According to National Cancer Institute (2012) there are several ways to diagnose ovarian cancer. These exams include a pelvic exam; this is an exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and rectum. A pap smear is usually also required. The doctor may request an ultrasound (ultrasonography) which is the use of sound waves to create echoes as they enter the ovaries or other organs. This process then creates a picture. The ultrasound is usually the first test administered to diagnose ovarian cancer. A CT scan (computed tomography) takes multiple images of the section of the body that is of concern. In ovarian cancer, the CT scan can locate large tumors. The CT scan will not show smaller ovarian tumors well. Some patients may need a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is used to access if cancer has spread to the colon. Finally a Biopsy is used to determine if the tumor is cancerous, the biopsy is usually done by removing the tumor at surgery. The cancerous tumor is then staged to indicate how far the cancer has progressed.
There are four stages of ovarian cancer, these stages are broken down into roman numerals and subdivided by letters A, B, and C. If the cancer is more advanced the Roman numeral will be higher per Chen (2012). The staging process determines if the cancer has spread outside of the ovaries. Stages I and II are considered early stages of ovarian cancer. Stage IA cancer is found in one of the ovaries. Stage IB cancer is found in both ovaries Stage IC cancer is found inside one of both ovaries, doctors may have also found one of the following: cancer on the outside surface of one or both ovaries, or the ovary capsule has ruptured; or the fluid of the peritoneal cavity has cancer cells. Stage II cancer has spread through both ovaries and areas of the pelvis. Stages IIA, cancer has spread through the uterus and fallopian tubes. In IIB cancer has spread through tissue in the pelvis area. Stage IIC cancer has spread through all areas above as well as one of the following: outside the surface area of the ovaries or the outer part of the ovary has ruptured; or cancer cells are found in the tissue lining of the peritoneal cavity. Stages III and IV are advanced stages in ovarian cancer. Cancer cells are found in the pelvis area and tissue that lines the abdominal wall and the small intestines. The cancer cells...