Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer overview and Definition

The cancer or malignant cells forms in the ovary which is present in uterus.


 Mostly it occurs in women who has crossed 50 years of age.

Structure of Ovarian Cancer

The female reproductive system consists of a pair of ovaries on each side. The ovary is connected to the fallopian tube. The ovaries produce the egg which aids in fertilization process. The ovaries are also the main source of oestrogen and progesterone secreation.

Types of ovarian cancer:

Epithelial tumour: The epithelial tumour arises from the cells that covers the outer surface of the ovary.

Germ cell tumour: the germ cell tumour occurs in the cells that produces the egg

 Stromal Tumour:Stromal tumors start from structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.


Clinical signs & symptoms

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge not related to menstruation (periods).
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain in the pelvic area.
  • Bloating in abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation



Differential Diagnosis

The physician might look for your history to come into the conclusions. It might includes the type of cancer suspected, signs and symptom of the individual, age and general health of the individual, results of previous medical tests.

Pelvic examination:

     The physician palpate the uterus, vagina, ovaries and rectum to check for any possible findings.

Barium swallow or modified barium swallow:

 It is used to check the barium swallowing. During an x-ray exam, the patient is asked to swallow liquid barium and the ovarian cancer spread to the small intestine or colon is investigated.

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan:

  • A  CT scan takes pictures of the inside of the body using x-rays taken from different angles. A computer combines these pictures into a detailed, 3-dimensional image that shows any abnormalities or tumors. A CT scan can be used to measure the tumor’s size. Sometimes, a special dye called a contrast medium is given before the scan to provide better detail on the image. This dye can be injected into a patient’s vein or given as a pill or liquid to swallow.

Magnetic resonance imaging:

  • It uses a specific xray to see the uterus images. It is mainly used to treat the early stages of cancer.

Molecular testing of the tumor:

 Your doctor may recommend running laboratory tests on a tumor sample to identify specific genes, proteins, and other factors unique to the tumor.

Genetic testing:

               This test is done to look for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. It helps to detect the familial inherited ovarian cancer.

The following is the stage of the endometrial cancer:

  • Stage 1: The cancer is only present in the ovarian.
  • Stage 2: The cancer is present in the ovarian and other tissues.
  • Stage 3: The cancer has spread outside the uterus, but not as far as the rectum or bladder. It might be present in fallopian tube, vagina, ovaries and lymph node.
  • Stage 4: The cancer has spread beyond the pelvic area. It might be present in the bladder, rectum, and/or distant tissues or organs.



The 20 year survival rate f the patient with endometrial cancer is 46%. When it is localized the survival rate is 90%.



To reduce your risk of endometrial cancer, you may wish to:

  • Talk to your doctor about the risks of hormone therapy after menopause. If you're considering hormone replacement therapy to help control menopause symptoms, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Unless you've undergone a hysterectomy, replacing estrogen alone after menopause may increase your risk of endometrial cancer. Taking a combination of estrogen and progestin can reduce this risk. Hormone therapy carries other risks, so weigh the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Consider taking birth control pills. Using oral contraceptives for at least one year may reduce endometrial cancer risk. The risk reduction is thought to last for several years after you stop taking oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives have side effects, though, so discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases the risk of endometrial cancer, so work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, increase your physical activity and reduce the number of calories you eat each day.
  • Maintain the healthy lifestyle.