Ovarian CancerMarlton, NJ
An ovarian cancer diagnosis can be intimidating and frightening. However, undergoing treatment in its early stages often provides optimal results. Ovarian cancer causes obvious signs and symptoms; therefore, it is important to know and listen to your body as it alerts you that something is wrong.
At Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center, we offer ovarian cancer treatment for patients experiencing various symptoms. Our team can diagnose, treat, and help ensure cancer remains in remission after the completion of treatment. To learn more about our treatments or schedule an appointment, call (856) 475-0876 today.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancers describe a group of diseases that affect the ovaries and surrounding structures, including the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum. The female reproductive system consists of two ovaries, the vulva, vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, and the uterus. Tissue lining, or the peritoneum, covers organs in the abdomen. When tumor cells grow in the ovaries, they multiply quickly and destroy healthy tissue.
There are many types of tumor cells that result from ovarian cancer. According to the CDC, “the most common tumor type is high-grade serous carcinoma, occurring in about 70% of ovarian cancer cases.” Ovarian cancer can result from a variety of causes, including genetic mutations, Lynch syndrome, and breast cancer. This type of cancer often reveals itself through signs and symptoms, and early diagnosis can greatly aid in recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Many patients become aware of the development of ovarian cancer through certain signs and symptoms, although they may not appear right away. They may also be similar to other common health conditions. Nonetheless, it is important to understand how the reproductive system works and notice these signs as soon as they occur.
Common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Quickly feeling full when eating
- Weight loss
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Back pain
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- A frequent need to urinate
Patients who experience any of these symptoms should visit their primary care doctor for an examination. They may be referred to Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center if signs indicate a risk of ovarian cancer. We will then conduct a thorough examination and run tests to properly diagnose the patient.
Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer
It is crucial that all women understand their risk factors for developing any form of cancer. Risk factors associated with ovarian cancer include older age, inherited genes, family history, obesity, hormone replacement therapy, endometriosis, early age menstruation, late menopause, and never having been pregnant. We will assess these risk factors and go through a patient’s medical and family histories during the diagnosis.
Upon assessing a patient’s risk, we will determine the necessary tests and examinations needed for an official diagnosis. These tests may include a pelvic exam, imaging tests such as ultrasounds and CT scans, blood tests, surgery, and genetic testing. Surgery may be necessary for some patients to verify whether a tumor resides in one of the ovaries. Once a patient is officially diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center will use the results of the tests to determine the stage the patient is in and appropriate treatment.
Types of Treatments for Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer treatments vary depending on each individual case and the stage a patient is in. Treatments may be a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and palliative care. According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, surgery is the most common method of treatment, and most women will undergo surgery at some point during their treatment phase.
Surgeries for ovarian cancer include the removal of one or both ovaries, removal of both ovaries and the uterus, and removal of advanced cancer, which would require removing as much of the cancer cells in the body as possible. Most patients will also require chemotherapy and radiation along with another form of treatment. The fewer cancer cells appear in the body, then the less treatment the patient will need to combat the disease. Required treatment will be discussed during the diagnosis appointment or the following visit.
Cancer remission is different for every individual. Some patients live cancer-free, while others may require chemotherapy on and off. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to learn how to live post-treatment and prevent remission. The American Cancer Society suggests developing a survivorship care plan, which would include scheduled follow-up exams, early detection screenings, a list of side effects post-treatment, diet and physical activity recommendations, and regular visits to a primary care doctor for general health checks.
Ovarian cancer survivors are more prone to remission as well as other forms of cancer, including colon cancer, rectal cancer, small intestine cancer, cancer of the renal pelvis, breast cancer, and bladder cancer. Being treated with radiation and chemotherapy also increases the risk of soft tissue cancer, pancreas cancer, and leukemia. Therefore, we strongly suggest survivors of any type of cancer continually visit both their primary care doctor and oncologist to detect any changes or signs early.
Schedule a Visit Today
Ovarian cancer consultations and treatments are available at our office. Our team at Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center looks forward to treating you and keeping you healthy after treatment. Call our office at (856) 475-0876 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ovarian Cancer
How can ovarian cancer be prevented?
Nobody is immune to any type of cancer. Although ovarian cancer cannot be prevented, there are ways women can reduce their risk. Oral contraceptives can greatly reduce one’s risk when taken for at least five years. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, tubal ligation, hysterectomies, and prophylactic oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) can also reduce one’s risk.
What are the first symptoms that appear with ovarian cancer?
Unfortunately, early symptoms of cancer often resemble common symptoms of other health conditions and may not be obvious. Troubling symptoms, such as bleeding, tend to occur when with advanced stages of cancer. However, it is important to be mindful of your body and alert to common symptoms of ovarian cancer, and get checked frequently. Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease that causes the endometrial tissue, which normally lines the inner surface of the uterus, to grow outside of the uterus. Endometriosis does not have any known cause to this day, but it has been linked to ovarian cancer. Those with this condition may be more likely to develop ovarian cancer as well as infertility.
How is ovarian cancer most commonly diagnosed?
Ovarian cancer can be diagnosed through imaging tests, blood tests, pelvic exams, and surgical testing. At times, a laparotomy is necessary to confirm the presence of ovarian cancer cells. This type of surgery requires the removal of cysts or other suspicious areas to be biopsied to assess whether cancer cells exist and to what extent.
Who is best trained to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer?
Oncologists are cancer treatment specialists. However, gynecologic oncologists are the most qualified to treat ovarian cancer. Gynecologic oncologists are obstetrician-gynecologists who are trained in oncology and advanced abdominal pelvic surgery. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of women with gynecologic cancers.
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