Ovarian Cancer: A Terrible Silent Threat

Ovarian cancer is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive system. Furthermore, it is the first cause of death because it is usually found when it has reached the advanced stage and the treatment is no longer effective.

Ovarian cancer can be found in various age groups which ranges from childhood to menopausal period, and the cell-type of ovarian cancer varies according to age.  The most common age group found with ovarian cancer is around 40-60 years old.

What is the cause of ovarian cancer?

The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, so we have no way to prevent ovarian cancer. But there are studies that found potential risk factors for ovarian cancer, which are as follows:

  • Having a family history; especially mother, sister, or even daughter, with ovarian cancer
  • History of breast cancer or colon cancer
  • Early menarche (before the age of 12 years) and late menopause (after 55 years)
  • Nulliparity

Women with these risk factors must check their health regularly. But, it does not mean that all women who have such risk factors will be facing ovarian cancer. You only need to pay attention to the unusual symptoms and do not ignore them.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms of ovarian cancer.  In the initial stage, there are usually no symptoms. This is why we often detect ovarian cancer in the late stage because when the patient has manifested the symptoms, it has already become advanced. This is causing ovarian cancer to be a terrible silent threat. Symptoms that can be found are as follows:

  • Feeling bloated, abdominal distension
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain or loss without knowing the cause
  • Bowel habit change or frequent urination
  • Palpable pelvic or abdominal mass

The symptoms mentioned above seem insignificant once experienced, causing a woman to neglect it and not bother to see a doctor. Most of the patients think that it is just a simple dyspepsia or stomachache.

Prevention of ovarian cancer

Because we do not know the exact cause of ovarian cancer, currently there are no methods to prevent it. The best protection is to observe the symptoms that occur within our bodies.

If a woman has symptoms as mentioned above, visit a doctor for further investigation. Do not ignore the symptoms to help reduce the risk of having ovarian cancer.

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