If someone receives a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, it doesn't necessarily mean it’s the end. Ovarian cancer is definitely a serious disease that will require surgical and/or other treatments in order to survive, but with medical technology, it is treatable and the survival rate is much higher.
A diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be a devastating diagnosis and can often causes confusion for the patients who have been diagnosed. Ovarian cancer can be a very difficult cancer to treat because it often goes undetected and doesn’t cause any symptoms until the disease has progressed beyond the initial stages.
Ovarian cancer is usually detected by a routine gynecological check up and many times when detected it has not even began to cause symptoms. This is definitely a reason for women to routinely visit their gynecologists for their routine exams.
Symptoms and Treatment Options
Once symptoms of ovarian cancer rear their ugly heads, a person may experience abdominal pain and swelling, bloody stools, or fatigue that may be excessive and ongoing. When you experience these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you have ovarian cancer, however it is crucial that you consult with your doctor for a check up to determine the cause of the symptoms you may be experiencing.
Those are only some of the symptoms that someone may experience. As with any medical issues if you experience any other symptoms that you feel are abnormal you must also consult with your physician. Treatment options for a diagnosis of ovarian cancer will vary with the type of cancer cells found, the stage of cancer and the patient. Ovarian cancer treatments will be prescribed based on the individual that has received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Once a diagnosis of ovarian cancer has been confirmed, some of the treatments a person may be introduced to could include surgical procedures, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, and possibly oral chemotherapy agents. Staging of ovarian cancer is like many other cancers in that the doctor may perform other routine tests such as CT scans, chest x-rays, bone scans or other radiological tests to determine if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
Once diagnosis is confirmed you will find the doctor will most likely want to perform those tests and maybe others so they can determine whether the cancer is Stage 1 which mean cancer is more localized to Stage 4 where there has been a determination that the cancer has spread from the local area around the ovaries to other parts of the body such as the liver, lungs or other organs.
When a patient goes through cancer treatments such as radiation and/or chemotherapy there can be side effects that aren’t so pleasant to the patient. Such side effects can include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, hair loss, skin irritation and more. You have to remember the chemotherapy medications used are very strong and are intended to kill cancer cells. The radiation is very strong as well and can cause burns to the skin and can be very irritating.
There are medications that can be given to help alleviate any side effects that may be caused by the treatments received for a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. If side effects are experienced it is important to let your physician know so they can formulate a plan of treatment to help you be as comfortable as possible.
Tips and comments
- For more information about ovarian cancer, there are plenty of resources online or at your local library.
- Routine check ups are extremely important.
- Don't delay a visit to your doctor if you experience any symptoms.
- Report side effects of treatment to your doctor so they will be able to determine any medications or other care options to help keep you as comfortable as possible.
- Nutrititional support is also essential.
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