Ovarian Cancer - Everything You Need
Ovarian cancer is one of the top four cancers in women.
It begins in the ovaries, and can spread throughout the body to include
the bowels, liver, lungs, breasts, lymphatic nodes and brain. It is
commonly found in women ages 65 to 75, but has been found in women much
As with any cancer, the process of cell reproduction and repair fails to work properly, allowing for the abnormal growth and division of cells at a much accelerate and uncontrolled speed. This causes a lump or tumor, which can invade any part of the human body, and spread from one area to another, destroying health cells and damaging vital organs. Invasive tumor cells are described as cancerous or malignant.
In ovarian cancer, the small organs on each side of the uterus, where eggs are produced, begin to change. Literally individual cells, barely visible through a microscope, fail and begin their destructive path. It is within the inside of the cancerous cell where this mutative behavior occurs. The very nucleus of the cell is transformed. As the cells split and reproduce, they take needed nutrients away from healthy cells, leaving them to die. As the cells increase in numbers, a tumor or lump is created inside one or more of the ovaries. In this early stage, which is hard to detect, the prognosis is good and survival is very high. However, once the tumor breaks through into the ovarian outer surface, it is now much more dangerous. As fluids build in the surrounding abdominal cavity as the tumor grows, pressure increases and can cause the tumor to split or burst. When this happens, the prognosis is poor, and the chance of fatality is high. If the tumor has chance to spread through the abdomen, it can invade the uterus, fallopian tubes and even the bowels. Further expansion can include the lungs, breasts, liver, brain and even other lymphatic nodes. At this point, the prognosis is most likely bad, and the survival rate is dramatically lowered.
The true causes of ovarian cancer have not yet been
fully proven. However, women who have late starting periods, early menopause,
used the birth control pill, and have had more than one child, are at
much lower risk of getting ovarian cancer. In fact, women who have not
ever had children are at higher risk. Also, women whose close female
relative have had this cancer may be more genetically at risk than others.
There are over 30 types of ovarian cancer. These are some examples:
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