Since these two types of cancer are related to women and the organs are in close proximity to each other, we will discuss them together. However, we will decipher between the causes, signs and symptoms and treatment for them.
As the name suggests, this form of cancer begins in the ovaries of a woman. Like other cancers, the main cause is due to carcinoma. The causes for this form of disease is due to various reasons such as early menstruation and ovulating, obesity, late menopause, hormonal therapy during the post-menopausal period, having too many children or no children at all and consuming birth control pills at a large rate. Usually the cancer is formed within the ovaries but can also originate in the fallopian tubes and spread.
As for the signs and symptoms, there are many, but if observed by the patient carefully, the cancer can be detected in the earliest stages. They could include abdominal pain and swelling, pelvic pain, bloating and a discharge from the vaginal tract along with bleeding in more severe cases. After observing these signs, the suspected patient may then go on to seek medical help and a scan will be conducted to determine if and where and what size the cancerous tumor is and then a biopsy will be done as a form of diagnosis.
To treat ovarian cancer, first scans and biopsies are conducted to determine if cancerous cells have formed and whether the tumor is benign or not. The next step is to then check if the cancer has been quarantined within the ovaries or has spread to other parts of the reproductive system and organs. Once medical advice has been sought, treatment can be done either through surgery to remove the cancerous area or chemotherapy. Other newer modes of treatment include radiation and targeted therapy that “burn” out the cancerous cells.
Cervical cancer may be considered more dangerous and fatal than ovarian cancer because it is mostly detected in the later stages. The causes of this form of cancer is actually linked to popular behavior among young women these days including smoking, sexual activity with many partners, consumption of birth control pills and STDs like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The signs and symptoms of this disease include pain during intercourse, vaginal bleeding, pain in the pelvic region and feeling bloated. These days, due to the epidemic increase of cases among women, Pap smears are conducted on women whether or not they are at a risk for the disease. This helps with probing into whether the person is in their early stages of this cancer or at a risk. These are preventive measures that must be taken and is recommended for every sexually active woman. The diagnosis for cervical cancer includes scans, tests and general survey questions that point towards the disease. Another test called a colposcopy is conducted where a sort of magnifying instrument is inserted from the vaginal area to scope the cervix.
Depending on how severe the cancer is and whether it has spread to other regions or not, treatment for the disease will be conducted. A gynecologist will be the first medical practitioner to take a look. If the cancer is more severe and in it’s later stages, then an oncologist takes over. Again, like other cancers, there are options for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and surgery. The sad part is that the fatality rate for cervical cancer has been quite high because as mentioned earlier, it is usually not diagnosed ‘til the later stages. However, there is increased awareness being created for it so that more women do not fall prey to it.
For a pictorial slideshow and more information on cervical cancer, click HERE.
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