Gynecologic Cancer(Part 1)


Any cancer that starts in a woman's reproductive organs is referred to as Gynecologic cancer.There are five main types of Gynecologic cancer and the sixth type is Fallopian tube cancer which is very rare.Gynecologic cancers begin in different places within a woman’s pelvis, which is the area below the stomach and in between the hip bones.Each Gynecologic cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors and different cure.The risk of cancer increases with age.

In this part a particular type of Gynecologic cancer called Ovarian Cancer is mentioned.

Ovarian Cancer

This type of cancer occurs to less than 5% of gynecological cancers among women.It causes more deaths than any other gynecological cancer.Only about 20% of ovarian cancers are found at early stage.It is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. The female reproductive system contains two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus.Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen.But when detected early in which the disease is confined to the ovary,it is more likely to be treated successfully.

All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but older women are more
likely to get the disease than younger women. About 90 percent of
women who get ovarian cancer are older than 40, with the greatest
number of ovarian cancers occurring in women aged 60 years or older.Certain measures can be taken to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

What causes it?

Though it is not clear what causes Ovarian Cancer,there are factors that increase or decrease the chance of cancer.Cancer begins when a cell develops errors (mutations) in its DNA. The mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply quickly, creating a mass (tumor) of abnormal cells.There are three types of Ovarian Cancer.

  1. Epithelial Tumors - It accounts to about 90% of Ovarian cancer's.They are formed in the layers of tissue outside of the ovaries.There are some known factors that make a woman more likely to develop this type of cancer.
  2. Stromal Tumors - It accounts to 7% of Ovarian cancer's.The tumor is formed in the hormone producing cells.Much less is known about risk factors for this type of cancer.They are diagnosed earlier than other types of Ovarian cancer.
  3. Germ cell Tumors - The tumor develop's in the egg producing cells.They are a  rare form of cancer.Much less is known about risk factors for this type of cancer.They tend to occur in younger women.

Risk Factors & Symptoms

There's no sure way to prevent ovarian cancer. But there may be ways to reduce your risk.Women who use oral contraceptives may have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.Having a pregnancy might also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

  1. Risk Factors                                                                                                   Family history of ovarian cancer.                                                               Older age.                                                                                                   Inherited gene mutations(BRCA1 or BRCA2).                                             No history of pregnancy.                                                                       Obesity.                                                                                                   Beginning menstruation at an early age or starting menopause at a   later age.                                                                                                                   A personal history of breast, uterine, or colon   cancer.                       The use of certain fertility drugs or hormone therapies.
  2. Symptoms                                                                                               Abdominal bloating or swelling, pressure and pain.                                   A frequent need to urinate.                                                                 Discomfort in the pelvis area.                                                             Abnormal fullness after eating.                                                               Weight loss.                                                                                             Menstrual irregularities.                                                                   Constipation.                                                                                               Painful intercourse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           These symptoms may occur for any number of reasons. They aren’t   necessarily due to ovarian cancer.The symptoms will persist if   they’re due to ovarian cancer. Symptoms usually become more   severe as the tumor grows. Cancer's are best treated when detected   early.

Treatment & Research

 There are four stages of ovarian cancer.The treatment depends on what stage the cancer is in.The treatment will most likely be a combination of two or more of the following:

Hormone therapy
Targeted therapy 

New treatments for ovarian cancer are experimented each year by scientists. A study in 2014 examined targeted treatments for those with advanced stages of this cancer.A study in 2016 examined Hormone Therapy for menopause treatments in women with ovarian cancer. Certain drugs are also studied for their potential benefits in ovarian cancer.There are no proven ways to totally eliminate the risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, there are steps which can be taken to lower the risk.

Taking oral birth control pills .

Breastfeeding .
Pregnancy .
Surgical procedures on your reproductive organs (like a tubal ligation or hysterectomy).