Ovarian cancer is often termed a “Silent Killer” because its symptoms do not cause alarm amongst the women till it has already reached an advanced stage. Early detection of ovarian cancer offers a 90% cure rate. Sadly, a lack of symptoms from this silent disease means that about 75% of ovarian cancer cases will have spread to the abdomen by the time they are detected.
There are three main types of ovarian cancer.
Epithelial ovarian tumors:
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer, accounting for up to 90% of epithelial ovarian cancers. Epithelial ovarian cancer is named after the epithelial cells that line the ovaries. This type of cancer originates in the epithelium.
Ovarian Tumors are derived from the egg producing cells within the body of the ovary. This occurs primarily in children and teens and is rare by comparison to epithelial ovarian tumors.
Sex Cord Stromal Tumors:
Stromal cord tumors begin in the connective tissue responsible for the production of estrogen and progesterone. This kind of tissue also holds the ovaries in place. Sex cord stromal tumors can affect women of any age.
Surgery : The surgeon may usually perform a Laparotomy (through an abdominal incision) or Laparoscopy Assisted Biopsy (Minimally Invasive procedure where a tube containing a light and camera is inserted into the pelvic cavity through a small incision).
A sample of the tumor is excised and examined immediately under a microscope to confirm ovarian cancer and rule out malignancy. Once ovarian cancer is confirmed, surgeon may decide to perform a suitable procedure like a Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus [womb], bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries on both sides), omentectomy (removal of the fatty tissue that covers the bowels) or lymphadenectomy (removal of one or more lymph nodes).
Chemotherapy : Involves modern cancer drugs that are administered intravenously or orally to kill cancer cells and to reduce the chances of the tumour returning elsewhere in the body.
Radiation therapy : India’s leading Cancer hospitals now have some of the world’s most advanced radiation equipment like Linac, Novelis, Gamma Knife and Cyberknife for treating ovarian Cancers. High technology radiation is used to kill cancer cells without affecting the healthy tissues.
This is definitely the treatment of choice for early Ovarian cancer. The procedure is also useful in certain cases of recurrent Ovarian cancer that require extensive radical resection, including partial or complete exenteration or removal of the pelvic organs. If the tumor appears to be confined to the ovary, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopy for biopsy and tumor removal. It allows the surgeon to remove all or parts of your tumor using several small incisions rather than one large incision.
A thin, lighted tube with a camera at its tip (called a laparoscope) is inserted through a tiny incision in the abdominal wall. Guided by the highly magnified image generated by the camera, the surgeon can take a sample of the tissue using specially designed surgical instruments. Like the open surgical procedure laparotomy, laparoscopy can be used to stage (to determine the extent of the tumor) and to remove cancerous tissue.
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