Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer screening gwinnettOvarian cancer is a disease that arises from the ovaries. Approximately 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Unfortunately, it is often detected in advanced stages and therefore, has a poor survival rate. Although it remains unclear what causes ovarian cancer, some known risk factors include:

Women of any age can have ovarian cancer, but the risk increases with age. Most cases occur in menopausal women in their sixties.

The mortality rate among women with ovarian cancer is greatest among those who are obese. Statistics show that being overweight greatly increases a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. Lifestyle changes through proper exercise and diet are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Family History
Genetic links are believed to increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is thought to be connected to two specific mutations on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are also linked to increased risks of breast cancer. Without BRCA proteins, cells could grow extremely quickly and replicate into various forms of cancers.

The BRCA1 gene makes a protein that repairs damaged DNA. This protein communicates with other proteins to fix DNA changes that could expose healthy cells to foreign, tumor-causing proteins.

The protein produced by the BRCA2 gene serves as the body’s tumor defender. This protein repairs damaged DNA so it is better equipped to secure a cell’s genetic information and defend against the progression of cancerous cells.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are very similar to common female concerns, so unless they are chronic, or long lasting, and severe, it is unlikely that you have ovarian cancer. Symptoms include abdominal bloating/pressure in the belly, abdominal/pelvic pain, frequent urination, and early satiety, or feeling full very quickly.


Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Routine testing of blood levels for the CA-125 protein and pelvic ultrasound, which can detect potential or existing tumor development, are recommended for high-risk women. Those with a strong family history of ovarian cancer are considered high risk. Surgery may be performed to remove cancerous tumors as well as the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and surrounding tissue. After surgery, additional treatments such as chemotherapy, may be recommended to make sure any remaining traces of cancerous cells in the body are destroyed.


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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
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