By: Maria Flores •
Ovarian Cancer forms in the tissue when normal ovarian cells begin to grow uncontrollably and produce malignant tumors in one or both ovaries.
Some tumors are benign and do not spread beyond the ovaries. Epithelial ovarian cancer is said to be the most common type of ovarian cancer. It starts in the cells of the surface of the ovaries and it is responsible for 90 percent of all deaths related to this disease. Ovarian cancer does not have an age barrier and does not discriminate against any race. Studies show that ovarian cancer affects 11.6 out of every 100,000 Hispanic women. The mortality rate is highest between the ages of 75 and 84. According to cancer.org, it is estimated that 22,280 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,500 will die from the disease this year alone. It is the ninth most common cancer among women, ranking fifth amongst the causes for female fatalities.
According to Medicinenet.com, it is difficult to detect early symptoms of ovarian cancer, but as the tumors grows, symptoms can include pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs. Symptoms also include having a swollen or bloated abdomen, having nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea. Women with this type of cancer can feel fatigued at all times. A doctor can perform numerous types of tests to detect the cancer, such as a physical exam. This type of exam have doctors press on the abdomen to check for tumors and a sample fluid is taken to check for any sign of the disease. Another exam that can be performed is a pelvic exam, where a doctor feels the ovaries and nearby organs for lumps or changes in shape or size. But the pelvic exam is not considered to be the best way to check for ovarian cancer as it is for cervical cancer. An ultrasound is given to look for tumors and a biopsy is conducted by removing fluid or tissue to search for cancer cells.
After losing a close relative of mine a month ago, who was only 30 years old and who lived a healthy normal lifestyle with no family history of this deadly disease, I realized how destructive the cancer can be not only to the victim but to their entire family and friends. It is important for every woman to have themselves checked as early and often as possible and keep up with their regular doctor visits. No podemos dejar que este mal nos venza.