“Currently, there is no routine, simple screening test to accurately detect ovarian cancer. Contrary to popular belief, cervical screening (i.e.: Pap smear) will not detect…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Ovarian Cancer Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Cancer of the Ovary
  • Ovarian Cancer

Cancer

What is cancer?

DotS the definition of cancer may vary. The (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) definition is:

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is usually named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later”.2

Ovarian Cancer

What is ovarian cancer?

DotS the definition of ovarian cancer may vary. The CDC’s definition is:

“Ovarian cancer is a group of diseases that originates in the ovaries, or in the related areas of the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum”.3

Types

What are the different types of ovarian cancer?

In Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version the (United States) National Cancer Institute (NCI) elaborate the different types of ovarian cancer and include a diagram of the ovaries.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

In Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? the [United Kingdom] Target Ovarian Cancer elaborate on:

Ovarian Cancer

  • “Persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s from your tummy to the top of your thighs)
  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)”.4

Ovarian Cancer

 

Ovarian Cancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Symptoms

What can be other symptoms of ovarian cancer?

In Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? Target Ovarian Cancer also explain:

“Occasionally there can be other symptoms:

  • Changes in bowel habit (e.g. diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Any unusual bleeding from the vagina before or after the menopause should always be investigated by a GP”.5

In Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? Target Ovarian Cancer note:

“Symptoms will be:

  • New – they’re not normal for you
  • Frequent – they usually happen more than 12 times a month
  • Persistent – they don’t go away”.6

Cause

What causes ovarian cancer?

In Ovarian Cancer: Main Causes of Ovarian Cancer the (United Kingdom) NHS explain:

“You may have a higher chance of getting ovarian cancer if you:

  • Inherited a faulty gene, such as the BRCA genes or those linked to Lynch syndrome
  • Had breast cancer or bowel cancer
  • Had radiotherapy treatment for a previous cancer
  • Have endometriosis or diabetes
  • Started your periods at a young age or went through the menopause late (over 55), or have not had a baby – because these things may mean you’ve released more eggs (ovulated more)
  • Have never used any hormonal contraception, such as the pill or an implant
  • Are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Are overweight
  • Smoke”.7

Age

Is there an association between the risk of developing ovarian cancer and getting older?

In Ovarian Cancer Symptoms & Risks: What Are the Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer? the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition explain:

Age
Your risk increase as you get older. Ovarian Cancer is more common in those aged 50-79. However, you can develop it when you are younger”.8

In Ovarian Cancer Risk: Age the Target Ovarian Cancer note:

“As with most cancers the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as you get older. Those over the age of 50 have a higher risk. Most cases of ovarian cancer happen in those who have already gone through the menopause (when you stop having periods). More than 50 in 100 cases of ovarian cancer are in those over 65 years.

Although it’s not common, if you’re younger and haven’t been through the menopause you can get ovarian cancer. Over 1,000 women under the age of 50 develop ovarian cancer every year. That’s why it’s important that everyone is aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. This is especially important if you have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer”.9

Common or Not

How common is ovarian cancer?

In the United States, the NCI in Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version: General Information About Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer elaborate on:

“In the United States, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women.

While ovarian cancer is rare, it is the leading cause of death from cancer of the female reproductive system”.10

In the United Kingdom (UK) Cancer Research UK note:

“Around 7,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. This makes ovarian cancer the 6th most common cancer in women”.11

Pap Test

Does the Pap test check for ovarian cancer?

No. In Ovarian Cancer Testing & Detection the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition note:

“Currently, there is no routine, simple screening test to accurately detect ovarian cancer. Contrary to popular belief, cervical screening (i.e.: Pap smear) will not detect ovarian cancer. While cervical screening is effective in early detection of cervical cancer, it is not a test for ovarian cancer”.12

Ovarian Cancer

Symptom Diary

Where may I find an ovarian cancer symptom diary?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Health Care Provider

What if I am worried about some symptoms I am experiencing?

In Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: Worried About Your Symptom? Target Ovarian Cancer elaborate on:

“If you regularly experience any one or more of these symptoms, which aren’t normal for you, it’s important that you contact your GP. It’s unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem but it’s important to get checked out, even if they’re mild. Your GP should order a CA125 blood test. They may also order ultrasound scans of your ovaries and tummy.

If two or more of your close relatives have had cancer you should tell your GP as ovarian cancer can run in families”.“If you experience some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor”.13

Who is a GP?

DotS and DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Ovarian Cancer?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Ovarian Cancer?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Ovarian Cancer Testing & Detection. World Cancer Coalition https://worldovariancancercoalition.org/about-ovarian-cancer/detection-testing/ Accessed: 04 May 2024
  2. Ovarian Cancer: Basic Information About Ovarian Cancer. Last Reviewed: 14 June 2023. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/basic_info/index.htm Accessed: 04 May 2024
  3. Ovarian Cancer: Basic Information About Ovarian Cancer. Last Reviewed: 14 June 2023. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/basic_info/screening.htm Accessed: 04 May 2024
  4. Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? Last Reviewed: November 2022. Target Ovarian Cancer https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/symptoms Accessed: 04 May 2024
  5. Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? Last Reviewed: November 2022. Target Ovarian Cancer https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/symptoms Accessed: 04 May 2024
  6. Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer: What Are the Symptoms? Last Reviewed: November 2022. Target Ovarian Cancer https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/symptoms Accessed: 04 May 2024
  7. Ovarian Cancer: Main Causes of Ovarian Cancer. Page Last Reviewed: 24 January 2022. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/causes/ Accessed: 04 May 2024
  8. Ovarian Cancer Symptoms & Risks: What Are the Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer? World Ovarian Cancer Coalition https://worldovariancancercoalition.org/about-ovarian-cancer/symptoms-risk-factors/ovarian-cancer-symptoms/ Accessed: 04 May 2024
  9. Ovarian Cancer Risk: Age. Last Reviewed: April 2023. Target Ovarian Cancer https://targetovariancancer.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/risk Accessed: 04 May 2024
  10. Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version: General Information About Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer. Updated: 31 March 2023. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/types/ovarian/patient/ovarian-screening-pdq#section/_5 Accessed: 04 May 2024
  11. Ovarian Cancer: How Common It Is. Last Reviewed: 30 November 2021. Cancer Research UK https://about-cancer.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer/what-is-ovarian-cancer Accessed: 04 May 2024
  12. Ovarian Cancer Testing & Detection. World Cancer Coalition https://worldovariancancercoalition.org/about-ovarian-cancer/detection-testing/ Accessed: 04 May 2024
  13. Ovarian Cancer: Diagnosis. Last Updated: 07 December 2023 | Last Reviewed: 14 April 2023. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/ovarian-cancer#diagnosis Accessed: 22 February 2024
Topic Last Updated: 05 April 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 22 February 2024

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