Ovarian Cancer nowadays is ubiquitous among females. In every second one or two females are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was difficult to diagnose it quickly, but now researchers have developed a new test to diagnose ovarian cancer quickly. This test may help in earlier detection and treatment and may prevent unnecessary surgeries. It is the fastest spreading cancer in females. There is no such test or procedure to diagnose this cancer, and this is the reason women are compelled to opt for the surgery. Many times detection of ovarian cancer takes place at a dangerously advanced stage and sometimes through accidental findings when a patient visits a doctor for some other health issues.
Now, there is some good news for women. Researchers have developed some new test to diagnose ovarian cancer. Researchers from Uppsala University and Sahlgrenska Academy and the University of Gothenburg have found that a blood test can now detect ovarian cancer. This blood test can help in early diagnosis and treatment of cancer — the study published in Communications Biology.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
The ovaries are two oval-shaped organs – one on each side of the woman’s uterus. The ovaries store the eggs and make female hormones. These organs play a significant role in a woman’s body. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer is caused when malignant cells in the ovaries begin to multiply, and the cells are out of control, they form a tumor. According to the study published in Cancer Biology and Medicine, this is the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer among women.
How Ovarian Cancer is caused, and what is its symptoms?
Ovarian cancer is caused when a cell or group of cells start multiplying quickly. This abnormal growth leads to death of normal and healthy cells. In fact, these cells can enter the nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are abdominal swelling, weight loss, heartburn, pain during the sexual course, frequent needs to urinate, feeling of satiety. Old age, inherited gene mutation, family history of ovarian cancer, menopause, estrogen hormone replacement therapy, etc. can also increase the chances of having a tumor in the ovaries.
How can Ovarian Cancer be detected?
Imaging Tests: Doctors use an imaging test to take pictures of the inside of your body. The imaging test can show whether a pelvic mass is present, but they cannot confirm that the mass is cancer. This test also helps doctors to see if ovarian cancer has spread to other tissues and organs.
Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image on a video screen. Sound waves are released from a probe placed in the woman’s vagina, and a small microphone-like instrument called a transducer gives off sound waves and pickups the echoes. The computer turns these echoes into an image on the screen.
CT scans: CT scans do not show small ovarian tumors, but they show large tumors and may be able to see if the tumor is growing into nearby structures. A CT scan can also enlarge lymph nodes, signs of cancer spread to the liver or other organs, or indication that this cancer is affecting your tumor and bladder.
Barium enema x-ray: A barium enema is a test to see if cancer has invaded the colon (large intestine) or rectum. This test is rarely used for women with ovarian cancer.
Biopsy: The only way to determine for sure if growth is cancer is to remove a piece of it and examine it in the lab. This procedure is called a biopsy. In rare cases, a suspected ovarian cancer may be biopsied during a laparoscopy procedure or with a needle placed directly into the tumor through the skin of the abdomen. This is only done if you cannot have surgery because of advanced cancer or some other serious medical condition because there is a concern biopsy can spread cancer.
Laparoscopy: This procedure uses the thin, lighted tube through which a doctor can look at the ovaries and other pelvic organs and tissues in the area. The tube is inserted through a small incision (cut) in the lower abdomen and sends the image of the pelvis or abdomen to a video monitor. Laparoscopy provides a view of organs that can help plan surgery or other treatments and can help doctors confirm the stage of cancer.
Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a way to examine the inside of the large intestine. The doctor looks at the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on end. It is inserted through the anus and into the rectum and the colon.