Ovarian Cancer

Overview of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Meaning in Urdu

بیضہ دانی کا خواتین کے اعضائے مخصوصہ میں ایک ایسا حصہ ہوتا ہے جہاں انڈے بنتے ہیں۔ بیضہ دانی کے کینسر کی وجہ سے اس میں سیلز بننے لگتے ہیں جو کہ تیزی کے ساتھ جسم کے دوسرے حصوں میں پھیل سکتے ہیں۔ بہت سارے کیسز میں بیضہ دانی کے کینسر کی علامات کی ابتدائی سطح پر تشخیص نہیں ہو پاتیں۔ تاہم اس کی بنیادی علامات پیٹ کی سوزش، کھانے کے فوری بعد پیٹ پھول جانا، وزن میں کمی، جسم نے نچلے حصے میں بے چینی، تھکاوٹ، کمر درد، قبض، اور بار بار پیشاب آنا شامل ہے۔

Ovarian cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that are present in the ovaries of a female. These abnormal cells continue to multiply very quickly. These cells can invade and destroy healthy body cells as well. 

Two ovaries are present in the female reproductive system on each side of the uterus. Ovaries are approximately the size of an almond. Ovaries are responsible for producing eggs or ova as well as progesterone and estrogen hormones.

How Does Ovarian Cancer Spread?

Ovarian cancer spreads from the pelvis region to your lymph nodes, abdomen, stomach, liver, chest, or intestine.

Prevalence of Ovarian Cancer

During the lifetime of a woman, the risk of her suffering from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 78. The chance of a woman dying from ovarian cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 108. 

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

You might not be able to notice any visible symptoms during the initial stage of ovarian cancer. The ovarian cancer symptoms when they start to appear, they’re normally linked with other health conditions as well. 

Some of the common ovarian cancer symptoms are:


  • Bloating
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Back pain
  • The quick feeling of fullness right after eating
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Excessive urination
  • Constipation 
  • Fatigue

Types of Ovarian Cancer

The type of ovarian cancer depends on the cells where the cancer starts to originate. The types of ovarian cancer are:

  1. Epithelial Ovarian Cancer- It is the most common type of ovarian cancer. There are several subtypes of this cancer and it also includes mucinous carcinoma and serous carcinoma.

  2. Germ Cell Tumor- It is a rare type of cancer and it occurs at a very young age.

  3. Stromal Tumor- As compared to ovarian cancer, stromal cancer is usually diagnosed at an earlier stage. 

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

There are 4 stages of ovarian cancer based on the severity of the cancer.

  1. Stage I - Stage I is further divided into 3 sub-types (Stage IA, Stage IB, and Stage IC). In the first substage, the cancer is only in one fallopian tube or in one ovary. In Stage IB, the cancer is in both the fallopian tubes and ovaries. In Stage IC, cancer is in both fallopian tubes, and ovaries and is even found on the outside of the ovaries.

  2. Stage II - This stage is also divided into other stages. In Stage IIA, the cancer is spread outside of your ovary and is now in the uterus. In Stage IIB, the cancer is further spread to the other body parts such as the pelvis.

  3. Stage III - This stage too, is divided into 3 further sub-stages. In Stage IIIA, the cancer is further spread from your pelvis to the abdomen or within lymph nodes. In Stage IIIB, cancer has spread from your pelvis and within lymph nodes and the size of the tumor is upto 2 cm. In Stage IIIC, the size of the tumor is greater than 2 cm and moves out from the pelvis area. In this stage, it can affect other organs such as the spleen and liver as well.

  4. Stage IV - It is the most severe form of cancer. In this stage, cancer has spread inside your organs such as the spleen or liver. In Stage IVA, the cancer is found in your lungs and in Stage IVB, the cancer is spread either into your chest or to the lymph nodes of your groin.


Causes of Ovarian Cancer

The exact reason or cause of the cancer is still not identified. However, some people have a higher chance of suffering from ovarian cancer. The risk factors for ovarian cancer are:

  • Age over 60 years of age
  • Obesity
  • Endometriosis
  • Family history of ovarian or other types of cancers 
  • Genetics (Inherited gene of mutation such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 or of Lynch syndrome

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

The ovarian cancer risk factors include:

  • Older Age- The chances of ovarian cancer increase with age. It is normally diagnosed in adults.
  • Being Obese- The risk of ovarian cancer increases if a person suffers from obesity.
  • Family History- If you have family members who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may also be at higher risk of suffering from ovarian cancer. 
  • Genetics- Ovarian cancer may also be caused due to genes that you inherit from your parents. The ratio of suffering from ovarian cancer from such genes is small. The genes that increase the risk of ovarian cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes are also responsible for increasing the risk of breast cancer. 
  • Endometriosis- It is a painful gynecology disorder. In endometriosis, the tissues that are similar to the uterus, start to grow outside of the uterus.
  • Age, when periods started and ended- Beginning of the menstruation at an early age or menopause at a very later age or both, are responsible for increasing the risk of ovarian cancer. 
  • Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
  • Never having been pregnant                   

What are the Health Complications due to Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer may cause various health issues such as urinary problems, perforated colon, bowel obstruction, pain in bone, and fluid in the membrane of the lungs.



There is no authentic way to prevent ovarian cancer. But, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your risk of suffering from ovarian cancer which are:

  • Birth Control Pills - Taking birth control pills have shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. But, you need to ask the doctor whether taking birth control pills is right for you or not. As these medications have risks so you need to consult your doctor before taking those risks based on your condition.

  • Consult Doctor - You need to discuss your risk factors thoroughly with the doctor. If you have a family history of cancer, this is a sign that you need to consult a certified oncologist. Your doctor may also recommend you visit a genetic counselor who can help you with genetic testing. The doctor may also suggest ovary removal surgery to prevent the spread of cancer. 



Ovarian cancer is diagnosed with the help of the following tests and procedures:

  • Blood Tests - The blood tests will help doctors in diagnosing the functions of the organs and the overall health of a person. A specialized CA 125 test may also be recommended by a doctor. It is a blood marker test that detects the cancer-causing protein in the blood. In the case of ovarian cancer, it is present on the surface of the ovaries.
  • Pelvic Examination - In this examination, the doctor physically inserts the finger inside the vagina and simultaneously presses a hand on the abdomen in order to feel the pelvic organs. In this examination, the doctor also visually examines the external genitalia, cervix, or vagina.
  • Imaging Tests - In imaging tests, the MRI, ultrasound, and CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis are done. It helps in determining the size, structure, and shape of the ovaries. 
  • Genetic Testing- The genetic testing helps your doctor in determining if you are at risk of ovarian cancer or not. This test may also become necessary for the customized treatment plan for ovarian cancer. 
  • Surgery - At times, your doctor may have to surgically remove an ovary and check the signs and symptoms of cancer.

Treatment of Ovarian Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

Ovarian Cancer treatments use a combination of both chemotherapy and surgery. There are other treatment options available as well that can be used depending on the condition of the patient and the stage of ovarian cancer. 

  1. Surgical Treatment

The surgical treatment of ovarian cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. The operations to remove cancers of ovaries include

  • Surgery to Remove One Ovary - This surgery is done when the cancer is in its early stages and hasn’t spread from that ovary. In this surgery, the fallopian tube and its affected ovary are removed. 

  • Removal of Both Ovaries - If the cancer is present in both ovaries and there are not as such other signs and symptoms then the surgeon would remove both fallopian tubes and ovaries. The uterus is not removed in this operation so there are still chances that a patient can become pregnant using their own eggs or frozen donor or eggs from another donor.

  • Uterus and Both Ovaries Removal - If the cancer is severe and spread, and you don’t want to be pregnant then your doctor does this surgery. In this surgery, the surgeon removes both fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, lymph nodes around it, and omentum (a fold of fatty abdominal tissue).

  • Advanced Cancer Surgery - If the cancer is of the advanced stage then the doctor would recommend the surgery to remove as much cancer as possible. In this type of cancer, chemotherapy is given to the patient before or after the surgery. 

  1. Chemotherapy

It is a treatment that involves drugs (medication). These medications are used to kill fast-growing cells such as cancerous cells in the body. The chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into veins as well.

Chemotherapy is normally recommended after surgery for ovarian cancer to kill any remaining cancerous cells. However, it can also be recommended before surgery as well.

In particular cases, the chemotherapy medication may also be heated and infused into the abdomen during surgery. The drugs are placed there for some time before they are drained and then the operation is completed. 

  1. Targeted Therapy

This therapy targets particular cancer cells to die. If you are thinking of opting for this type of treatment, your doctor will conduct certain tests to check which targeted therapy is suitable for the patient. 

  1. Hormone Therapy 

In this treatment, the effect of the estrogen hormone is blocked on the cancer cells of the ovary. Some ovarian cells use estrogen for their growth. Therefore, blocking them can help in controlling cancer. 

  1. Immunotherapy

Our normal immune system may not attack the cancer cells as they produce certain proteins to hide them. In this case, immunotherapy helps our immune system to fight cancer. Depending upon the type and condition of the patient, this treatment option may be recommended to the patient. 

  1. Palliative (Supportive Care)

This is a specialized form of care in medicine. Palliative care focuses primarily on providing relief from the symptoms and pain of a serious illness. Specialists of palliative care work with doctors and your family to provide extra support that complements the ongoing treatment and care. Palliative care is often done along with chemotherapy or surgery. 

Most of the time, proper palliative care can help patients feel better and live longer. It aims to improve the quality of life of people with cancer and their families. 

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you can always reach out to a certified cancer specialist for consultation and a customized treatment plan.