Categorized | Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a type of women‘s cancer that arises when the cells in the ovary become malignant and start growing without control. The ovaries are two symmetrical parts of the female reproductive system that are responsible for the production of eggs and sexual hormones progesterone and oestrogen. The UK has one of the highest numbers of ovarian cancer cases in Europe. The most frequent form of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian cancer which starts in the cells of the epithelial tissue in the lining of the ovary.

The factors that increase the risk of ovarian cancer include age (the older the individual is, the higher the risk), cases of ovarian cancer in the family history, being diagnosed with breast cancer or endometriosis, infertility and using fertility drugs, hormone replacement therapy which is used to treat the symptoms of menopause, higher than normal height or weight, talcum powder which can cause irritation of the ovaries and tobacco smoke. The contraceptive pill, having children and breast feeding are thought to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

As with many other forms of cancer, at first the symptoms are not easy to notice. Usually the patient only starts developing symptoms after the cancer has reached further stages. These symptoms may be lower abdominal pain and bloating, irregularities in periods, frequent urination, constipation and painful sexual intercourse.

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