Overview

Ovarian cancer involves abnormal cell growth in one or both ovaries. Let’s explore the details:

  1. Detection Challenges:
    • Often detected during routine pelvic exams.
    • Early symptoms (bloating, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea) may lead to delayed diagnosis.

  2. Risk Factors:
    • Childbearing History:
      • Women who have never had a baby or are unable to get pregnant.
    • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):
      • Increased risk.
    • Age:
      • Most cases occur after menopause (2/3 after age 55).
    • BRCA 1 or 2 Gene Mutations:
      • Higher risk in confirmed carriers.

  3. Symptoms:
    • Gastrointestinal Manifestations:
      • Bloating.
      • Abdominal or pelvic pain.
      • Early fullness after eating.
    • Persistent Symptoms:
      • Evaluate if symptoms persist for 3 weeks or more.

  4. Diagnostic Tests:
    • Pelvic Examination:
      • Initial evaluation.
    • Transvaginal Ultrasonography (Sonogram):
      • Helpful but not 100% diagnostic.
      • Less accurate in overweight or obese patients.
    • CA-125 Blood Test:
      • Indicated for known BRCA 1 or 2 carriers and postmenopausal women with pelvic masses.

  5. Lifetime Risk:
    • Approximately 1 in 70 women (compared to 1 in 9 for breast cancer).
    • Age: Most cases occur after menopause.
    • BRCA 1 or 2 Carriers: Higher risk.
    • Oral Contraceptives:
      • Ever use: 40% risk reduction.
      • 15 years of use: 90% risk reduction.

 

Remember to seek medical advice and stay informed about ovarian cancer risks. Castaneda OBGYN is here to provide care and support.