CHENNAI: Ovarian cancer has emerged as one of the most common cancer affecting women in India. An analysis of samples collected over the past two years (2013-2014) by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd reveals that a total of 1,666 tested positive for high CA125 levels out of the 5,970 samples processed at Lister Metropolis Healthcare in Chennai.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Anita Suryanarayan, VP Operations - South India and Sri Lanka, Metropolis Healthcare said, “In ovarian cancer, cells in the ovary start to change and grow abnormally.
If the cancer isn’t identified at an early stage, it can spread to the abdomen and pelvis, including other parts of the female reproductive system. Women who have their first full-term pregnancy after the age of 35 or who never carried a pregnancy to term have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding may lower the risk even further. Fertility drugs with no outcome or hormone therapy after menopause is also linked to the disease.”
Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are also responsible for most inherited ovarian cancers, added Dr Anita.
According to Indian Journal of Cancer, one out of five women are prone to ovarian cancer.
The majority of ovarian cancers arise from the epithelium (outer lining) of the ovary. At least nine out of 10 ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian cancers.
A host of factors affects female ovaries such as family history, age, obesity, fertility drugs, personal history and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Ovarian cancer is a highly aggressive cancer and is one of the leading causes of women’s death. It is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in the middle aged women.
Development of cancer cells in ovary accounts for about 4 per cent of all cancers in women. Certain inherited gene changes (mutations) can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
These include changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. If you have inherited a mutation of one of these genes from either parent, your chances of getting breast and/or ovarian cancer increases. Ovarian cancer is difficult to pick up as symptoms like abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty while eating are extremely common conditions in the disease.
Accurate ways to detect ovarian cancer early could have a great impact on the cure rate. If a woman has these symptoms more than 12 times a month, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
Cancer Antigen–125 test or popularly known as CA-125, assesses the concentration of this protein in the blood.