Pune: Ovarian cancer cases are rapidly rising in India owing to the lack of awareness, late detection, and treatment. Women above 35 should go for the CA-125 blood and transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) as recommended by the doctor. Also, avoid neglecting symptoms such as pelvic and abdominal pain, bloating, or frequent urination. Prompt diagnosis of cancer at an early stage is key to improve the survival rates of the patients.
Ovarian cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Indian women and is commonly seen in the age group of 55-64. It is the 8th most common cancer in the world and is responsible for 3.34% of all cancer deaths in India. The incidences of it are 0.9-8.4 per 100,000 women in India. Ovarian cancer means a malignant tumor, or woman’s ovary, and tends to spread to the pelvic organs and to one’s abdomen and lungs too. “The risk factors of it are nulliparity (no pregnancy), early age of menses onset, late menopause, late age of first pregnancy (Beyond 35 years), hormone replacement therapy, tobacco, smoking, and family history (genetic tendency).
Dr. Deepti Kurmi, Gynecologist, Apollo Clinic, Pune Said that, “Most cases are diagnosed in the late stage that is III or IV and the survival rate is 28% in them (in 5 years). Only 15% of cases are diagnosed in the early stage, and the survival rate if diagnosed in the early stage is 94% (in 5 years). Sensitivity for individual symptoms of ovarian cancer is low. Sensitivity can be increased by combining the symptoms. Once you notice these symptoms get an appropriate diagnosis done,”
Dr. Keerthi Prakash Kotla, Consultant Pathologist, Apollo Diagnostic “There is no definite screening technique to diagnose this type of cancer. A routine checkup that includes a transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test can help detect cancer promptly. By opting for TVUS, the sound waves in it help to check the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries by inserting a wand into the vagina. Even a pelvic exam with an ultrasound, a blood test, and a biopsy can be helpful. CA-125 blood is measured when the woman especially above 50 reports any symptoms like persistent pelvic or abdominal pain, bloating, distension, frequent urination, feeling full (early satiety), loss of appetite, frequently that is more than 12 times a month. Do a CA-125 blood test when there is unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and changes in bowel habits. Once the diagnosis of ovarian cancer is confirmed then seek immediate treatment.”
The treatment of ovarian cancer will depend on the stage, size of the tumor, and location, and varies from person to person. Nowadays, targeted therapy consisting of drugs to tackle cancer cells is widely used. Your doctor will recommend a proper line of treatment for you. To prevent ovarian cancer, exercise daily, eat a well-balanced diet, avoid smoking and alcohol, and regularly breastfeed the child.