Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovaries begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, eventually forming a tumor. If not caught early Cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms include feeling full quickly, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or pain in the lower part of the abdomen, bloating or an increase in the size of your abdomen and increased frequency of urination. Treatments would depend on the stage of cancer, HIPEC surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted drug therapy. Get verified second opinions from OncoConnect’s curated list of international Oncologists.

About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, eventually forming a tumour. If not caught early cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other parts of the body. There were an estimated 3 lac new cases reported in 2018 globally.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include feeling full quickly, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or pain in the lower part of the abdomen that does not go away, bloating or an increase in the size of your abdomen and increased frequency of urination. Factors which can increase the chances of getting ovarian cancer include family history, inherited mutated genes, use of hormone replacement therapy, age, exposure to radiation and obesity.

Once ovarian cancer has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the stage of cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which doctors would be able to devise a treatment plan. Treatments include surgery – which would depend on the stage of cancer, HIPEC surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted drug therapy.

To know more about ovarian cancer you can refer to our Ovarian Cancer Guide

screening

Ovarian cancer screening is recommended if you have one of the following:

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
  • suspected risk of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
  • One close relative with ovarian cancer who has a suspected BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
  • Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Nonpolyposis colorectal Cancer)

Ovarian cancer can be detected through regular screening which included a physical pelvic exam, Ca 125 levels and Trans – Vaginal Ultrasound Scan.

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Consultant Surgical Oncologist

Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist

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treatment

Surgery: It is the main treatment for most ovarian cancer. The extent of surgery depends on how far the cancer has spread and on the patient’s general health. For women of childbearing age who have certain kinds of tumour and whose cancer is in its earliest stage, it may be possible to treat the disease without removing both ovaries and uterus.

For epithelial ovarian cancer, surgery has 2 main goals: Staging and Debulking. If the cancer isn’t properly staged and debulked, then further surgery may be required. Hence it is important that the surgery is done by a specialist who is trained and experienced in ovarian cancer surgery, like a gynaecological oncosurgeon.

Patients whose tumours have been optimally debunked have a better prognosis than those left with larger tumours after surgery (called as sub-optimal debulking).

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC): This type of surgical treatment involves filling the abdominal cavity with chemotherapy drugs that have been heated. Also known as “hot chemotherapy”. HIPEC is performed after the surgeon removes tumours or lesions from the abdominal area.

Chemotherapy: This is given by administrating drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA) or via intra-peritoneal (IP) injections to destroy cancer cells. This treatment can last up to many weeks.

Radiotherapy: This is performed by directing radiation beams at the targeted area, and like chemotherapy, this treatment usually requires multiple sessions which are performed over a series of weeks.

Targeted Therapy: This is performed by administrating a number of drugs which will target certain components of the cancer cells.

Treatments are often used in combination with each other, particularly is the cancer is advanced and surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that could not be removed during surgery.

You may experience vomiting, nausea, hair loss, fatigue & body pain during treatment. Please do not hesitate to discuss this further with your doctor, for more information on the management of any symptoms.

recovery

  • Most patients require a post-surgical recovery period of up to 4- 6 weeks. Speak to your surgeon to understand the amount of recovery you would need following your treatment.
  • Appropriate rest is also important during this period.
  • If there is pain and discomfort then please speak to your doctor for its management.

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length of stay

Hospital Stay:     3-7 days for surgery

Total Stay:           Depending upon treatment the length of stay can wary from 2 weeks to a few months

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