Ovarian cancer, which is one of the life-threatening gynecological problems in women, is known as the "silent killer". Ovarian cancer occurs in 80 out of every 1 women. While most of the patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, their treatment is also delayed; Early diagnosis is of great importance in the fight against this disease. Gynecological Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Gökhan Boyraz gave information about ovarian cancer and treatment methods before the “20 September World Gynecological Cancers Awareness Day”.
Ovarian cancer is known as the "silent killer" among societies because it gives late symptoms. However, ovarian cancer gives some findings similar to many diseases, which are not considered very important in the early period. These symptoms are listed as follows:
- Gas, nausea-vomiting
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Groin pain and abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite and early satiety
- changes in urination
- Constipation, change in bowel movements
- vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal heavy discharge
If there is fluid accumulation in the abdomen…
When symptoms are seen, a detailed gynecological examination is required. In postmenopausal women, fluid accumulation in the abdomen and a complicated mass in the ovarian regions strengthen the suspicion of ovarian cancer. The high level of Ca-125 in the blood, together with the gynecological examination, supports the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. In this case, the definitive diagnosis is made by surgery.
It is very important to perform rapid pathology (frozen examination) during surgery in patients with suspected ovarian mass. With rapid pathology, diagnosis is possible during surgery. Thus, there is no need for a second operation that may be required later, and treatment can be provided in a single session.
Annual examination is essential for early diagnosis
Although ovarian cancer is most common in the postmenopausal period, it is important for women with symptoms similar to those to have a gynecological examination. In addition, it is necessary to have annual gynecological controls in order to detect ovarian cancer early.
Surgery is very important in ovarian cancer
The most important step in the treatment of ovarian cancer is the quality of the first surgery. The biggest goal of this type of cancer is to not leave a tumor visibly. If no visible tumor is left, the treatment is largely successful. In the operation, all areas where the tumor has spread are removed. After this surgery, chemotherapy can be decided according to the stage of the disease.
In surgery, the entire abdominal region is examined
Ovarian cancer is not just a surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries. In order not to leave a suspicious mass, the patient's abdomen should be examined in detail. Liver, spleen, respiratory muscles, stomach, peritoneum, intestines, bladder, appendicitis, omentum should also be evaluated for suspicious tumor. Surgical quality is of great importance in this surgery.
HIPEC method can be applied for invisible tumors
Another treatment option during surgery is hot chemotherapy, namely HIPEC. HIPEC is applied to kill invisible tumor cells at the last stage of surgery. In the treatment, chemotherapy is given to the abdominal cavity at a temperature of 41-43 C, lasting 90 minutes. Since this method is given directly on tumor cells, it is very promising in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Pregnancy is possible in some types of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer, which can be seen in young women who have not lost their fertility, other than the postmenopausal period, is a fatal disease if not treated in accordance with scientific data. One of the biggest concerns in young patients is whether they can become mothers in the future. The priority in this disease is the patient's life. In some types of ovarian cancer, if diagnosed at an early stage, it may be possible to conceive while preserving the uterus and other ovaries. Very close doctor follow-up is very important in such patients.