Countering the threat of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a particularly vexing problem for doctors as there are no means for screening to detect it early.

Published: 06th October 2013 09:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2013 09:38 AM   |  A+A-

Ovarian cancer is a particularly vexing problem for doctors as there are no means for screening to detect it early. However, there may be relief for worried women as experts now say tests are available to identify those who are at high-risk and those who display symptoms.

Ovarian cancer is a malignant growth found in a female’s ovary. According to doctors, the risk factors from this cancer are associated with age and family history. September was marked as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Dr Radheshyam, medical oncologist, HCG Bangalore Institute of Oncology Speciality Centre, says “Smoking and inheritance of certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer.”  She referred to a recent research paper, which claimed that people with certain mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

The main treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In surgery, the gynaecologic oncologist surgically removes the ovary and other tissues that may be affected by cancer while in chemotherapy, the oncologist uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Radiation treatment involves use of high energy ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells.

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