Check-ups are a must for cancer detection

Check-ups are a must for cancer detection

Late detection is one of the most common reasons for deaths due to ovarian cancer. Patients with ovarian tumour are often symptom-free for a long time. By the time the cancer is detected, about two-thirds of these cases have already become far too advanced. Ovarian cancer is commonly diagnosed in women between 40 to 60 years of age. However, an ovarian tumour in adolescents and post menopausal women is more often cancerous than benign.

Ovarian cancer occurs in women who live in industrialised countries. Industrial pollutants like asbestos and talc have been known to cause ovarian cancer. Drugs used to treat infertility also increase the risk. Family history of cancers, decreased fertility, delayed child bearing, late menopause are some of the risk factors.

Let's look at some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer:

* Abdominal swelling and discomfort

* Loss of appetite and weight

* Indigestion and vomiting

* Increase in the frequency of urination and difficulty in retention of urine

* Abnormal bleeding

Complications like twisting of the tumour, bleeding into the tumour, rupture of the cysts, infection or intestinal obstruction may also occur. Surgery is the first line of treatment for ovarian cancer in the early stages. A combination of chemotherapy and drugs are used in advanced stages. Yearly health check-ups are a must to detect this disease early and manage it effectively.

(The author is consultant obstetrics, gynaecology & gynae-oncology, Gleneagles Global Hospitals)

 

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