Doctor's Notes on Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal ovarian cells forms a tumor in one or both of the ovaries. There are several types of ovarian cancers; the type of cell that originates the abnormal growth determines class of ovarian tumors. Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer (most types) do not occur until late in the disease when the tumor has grown large enough to apply pressure to other organs. The earliest symptom and sign of the disease can be menstrual irregularity. Signs and symptoms that come later in this disease may include
- pelvic pain or pressure,
- pain with intercourse,
- abdominal swelling and bloating,
- urinary frequency,
- fluid in the abdomen (ascites),
- abdominal distention,
- shortness of breath,
- loss of appetite,
- feeling full after a small meal,
- gas and/or diarrhea,
- nausea and/or vomiting,
- abnormalities in menstruation,
- pubertal development and
- abnormal hair growth.
- family history,
- the patient has a mother,
- sister or daughter that has the disease,
- hereditary symptoms such as mutation in a gene called BRAC1,
- hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome and
- site-specific ovarian cancer syndrome.
Other factors that increase ovarian cancer cell risk may include
- age greater than 50 years,
- no pregnancies,
- use of fertility drugs,
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and Anglo heritage,
- asbestos exposure, and
- repeated exposure of genitals to talc powder irradiation of the pelvic
area some viruses (for example, mumps virus).
Ovarian Cancer : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
Where does ovarian cancer occur?See Answer
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.