Ovarian cancer is one of the top cancers affecting women today. It is usually treated by surgery and chemotherapy. However, a recent study shows that ovarian cancer can be prevented by aspirin intake.
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer involving the different parts of the ovary. Majority of ovarian cancers are from the epithelium or the outer lining of the ovary. Ovarian cancer is one of the top cancer affecting women around the world today, and can cause death, along with other cancers. This type of cancer usually spreads to the other parts of the reproductive system such as vagina, the stomach, and the uterus. They usually occur in women over the age of 65.
Ovarian cancer is said to be benign when it limits its growth on the ovary only. On the other hand, if it spreads to the other parts of the body, it is termed as malignant. It is malignant when it demonstrates invasion and angiogenesis. Invasion occurs when the cancerous cell moves throughout the body through the blood or the lymphatic system to destroy healthy tissue. Angiogenesis is the process by which the cancerous cells multiply and grow and affect the blood vessels, so that more blood vessels grow and surface out to feed these cancer cells. Metastasis is the process by which the tumor spreads to the other parts of the body and grows to invade and destroy healthy tissues. This condition is hard to treat and is life-threatening.
There are three main types of ovarian cancers: epithelial, germ cell and stromal. Epithelial ovarian cancers are cancers that emerge from the surface of the ovary. This is the most common type of ovarian cancer. Germ cell ovarian cancers, on the other hand, are derived from the cells of the ovary which are responsible for producing eggs. This type of cancer usually affects children and teenage girls. Stromal ovarian cancers, also known as sex cord stromal tumors, often develop from the structures that hold the ovaries together. Cancers from the other parts of the body can also spread in the ovaries.
Ovarian cancer, during its early stages, has vague signs and symptoms which may be overlooked. However, more suggestive signs and symptoms include pelvic pain, pain on the lower side of the body, lower abdominal pain, back pain, indigestion, heartburn, early satiety, frequent and urgent urination, pain during sexual intercourse and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhoea or constipation. As ovarian cancer progresses, it may give a variety of other signs and symptoms which may include nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, difficulty of breathing and other signs and symptoms. Most women feel one or more signs and symptoms before their diagnosis. Thus it is not a silent killer. The most common signs experienced by women with ovarian cancer include pain or pressure in the abdomen or pelvis and bloating.
There are many causes and risk factors for ovarian cancer. Women with a positive family history are prone to develop this disease. Also at high risk are women who have close relatives with prostate, colon or uterine cancers; those over 65 years of age, those who have ever been pregnant, those who have never taken contraceptives, those who started their periods early, and those who had late menopause. If you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, you should take preventive measures.
Ovarian Cancer and Aspirin
A new study has shown that taking aspirin may lower a woman's risk for developing ovarian cancer by one-fifth. This study, done by researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute analyzed data from about 8,000 women with ovarian cancer and about 12,000 women without the disease and their intake of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). The results revealed that those who took aspirin daily have lowered risk for ovarian cancer by about 20 percent than those who use aspirin once a week. The researchers aim to incite other researchers to study whether aspirin can really lower ovarian cancer risk.
To know more about ovarian cancer, feel free to browse our other articles on this site.