Home Lifestyle Ovarian Cancer 101:  Causes, Symptoms, Treatment –  What you should know

Ovarian Cancer 101:  Causes, Symptoms, Treatment –  What you should know

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Cancer – The “almighty” dreaded disease no one likes to hear: Think cancer; come sickening thoughts; end of life, hair pulling out looking all frail and stuck in bed with multiple tubes “sucking the life out of you”…Relax! Although it’s frightening, one thing you should know? It’s both preventable and yes, curable, as long as it hasn’t gotten to the “irreversible” complicated stage. With a change in lifestyle and diet, you can live a healthy and long lasting life.

Today is #WorldOvarianCancerDay and we’re all about helping you understand this disease so you can arm yourself with knowledge in order to help you live a freer and happier live. Now where do we start from? How about knowing what cancer really is – This happens when a single cell becomes abnormal, grows, multiples and spreads out of control in the human body.

Ovarian cancer specifically refers to cancerous growth that occurs in the ovary, which often times arise from the outer lining  known as the epithelium.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Although in many early stages of ovarian cancer, there are no warning signals – no symptoms at all, however,  sometimes there could be a few, notably;

Pelvic pain
back pain,
pain during urination/ sex,
Pain on the lower side of the body
Pain in the lower stomach (If pain persists for more than a week, kindly contact a trusted medical practitioner immediately)
Indigestion or heartburn
Feeling full while eating
Frequent urination
constipation

Further symptoms might be noticeable as ovarian cancer progresses;
Nausea
Weight loss
Breathlessness
Tiredness
Loss of appetite

Causes of ovarian cancer

Although research has been made over the years about Ovarian cancer, there’s still no complete understanding of the disease. That said, certain risk factors might up a person’s chance of developing the disease. Here is a glimpse;

Family history

A look around an individual might just give a hint; women who have close relatives with ovarian cancer stand a higher risk of developing the disease.

Age

The more advance in age a woman is, the higher her chances. Women over 65 have higher chances of developing ovarian cancer.

Ovulation count

How often does a woman ovulate? We have four main factors which can influence the risk of ovarian cancer;

Getting pregnant often, lowers the risk of ovarian cancer
Being on contraceptive pill increases a woman’s risk factor
Early period increases a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer
Women whose menopause started later than average have a higher risk

Infertility or fertility treatment

Although there’re no clear cut details, some studies propose that a link exists between infertility treatment and standing a higher risk of ovarian cancer. It is not ascertained if the risk is caused by infertility treatment, infertility itself, or both.

Breast cancer

HRT (Hormone replacement therapy) which can help relieve menopause symptoms increases the risk of  breast cancer and stroke – women diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. In essence HRT increases the risk of ovarian cancer

Obesity/overweight

Maintaining a healthy body weight isn’t just recommended because it’s fashionable, it’s actually quite healthy too and shields you from a world of problems/ diseases. An obese/ overweight woman stands the risk of developing many cancers including ovarian,

Endometriosis
Women with endometriosis have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with other women.

Treatment 

In order to get the best treatment, doctors take into consideration the stage, grade as well as general health of the said patient. Generally however, ovarian cancer treatments include; surgery, chemotherapy, surgery with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Surgery

Most cases of ovarian cancer require surgery; the process in which the cancer is surgically removed. Most likely, this is the first treatment the patient will undergo.

Chemotherapy

This is often resorted to when surgery fails to remove some cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals (medication) to destroy cancer cells in order to prevent the cancer cells from dividing and growing. 3-6 chemotherapy sessions ( cycles) often given within 3-4 weeks apart, in order to give the body time to recover is recommended,

Radiotherapy

Although not generally considered effective, it is sometimes (less than often) used in ovarian cancer treatment. This may be used in cases where small traces of cancer in the reproductive system has been found, It can also be used to treat the symptoms of advanced cancer.

5 Cancer fighting foods;

Leafy Green Vegetables
Berries; Blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries,
Sweet potatoes, carrots, whole-grain foods,
Herbs including ; ginger, raw garlic,cayenne pepper ( ata shombo) which can be used in in many recipes, juices, dressings and smoothies.
Bright orange fruits and vegetables; carrots, oranges…

In essence, always remember, hope never dims as long as life exists.. You can BEAT it!

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