Cancer develops in your body when the cells of any organ start to multiply. The rapid growth of body cells can form a tumour and then deadly cancer.
Cancer slowly develops in your organ and spreads to other surrounding body parts. It can be an overwhelming disease.
The type of cancer most common in women is ovarian cancer. It happens due to tumours in the reproductive organ, “ovaries.” Learning about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of ovarian cancer helps determine whether you or someone you know has it.
Read on to learn some common causes and symptoms of ovarian cancer. And what type of genetic ovarian cancer testing is needed to assess its risk.
What is Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer, also called the “Silent Killer”, is cancer that develops in the woman’s ovaries. Ovaries are the female reproductive organs responsible for creating eggs for fertilisation. This kind of cancer is mainly inherited from the parent.
Ovarian cancer can be challenging to diagnose. However, early detection can be done through genetic ovarian cancer testing.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer
The causes of ovarian cancer are not mainly known. Many factors contribute to a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. The most common risk factor of ovarian cancer is ageing. As a woman ages, the chances of developing ovarian cancer increase.
There are some other causes, too, including;
- BRCA gene mutation
- Personal history of breast, colon, or bowel cancer
- Patients with diabetes or endometriosis
- Started periods before age 14
- Went through radiotherapy (for other cancer)
- Frequent smoking
- Never used any hormonal or pregnancy contraception
Another common risk factor for ovarian cancer is Lynch syndrome. It’s a disorder of colon cancer. If you have a family medical history of lynch syndrome, you are most likely to develop ovarian cancer. Hence, having a family member with lynch syndrome increases your risk of cancer, especially ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the least talked about cancer. However, it is considered the fifth deadliest disease. Due to the non-detectable symptoms, lowering its risk is difficult.
Luckily, some symptoms can appear more frequently, which helps you determine this cancer. One of the most significant factors to remember is that since the ovaries are near the bladder and intestine, most symptoms are noticed as digestive, urinary, and respiratory disruptions.
- Upset Stomach
The typical symptom of ovarian cancer is gastrointestinal disruptions, including constipation, irregular bowels, bloating, abdominal cramps, and poor digestion.
- Disruptive Bathroom Habits
Change in urinary habits, stool consistency, and bowel movement.
- Irregular Weight Loss or Gain
Another great symptom to look out for in ovarian cancer is weight gain or loss without changing your diet or exercise.
- Weak Appetite
Feeling full after eating a small portion
- Cramps and Pain
Constant fatigue and pressure in the pelvic area or lower back
- Vaginal Discomfort
Any vaginal discharge, extreme pain during intercourse, or abnormal bleeding without periods.
There is no way to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer ultimately. However, knowing your health, habits, and genetic history can help you devise a preventative plan to reduce its risk. One of the great and reliable ways to look out for this cancer is to go for testing regularly.