Why the diagnosis often comes late
It’s hard to spot ovarian cancer early. Symptoms may mimic other situations and may not be. Moreover, doctors and gynecologists do not have a reliable study to find the first signs of the disease. These are the main reasons for diagnosing women ovarian cancer When it is in phase I or II, before it has spread much, it is only about 20% of the time.
But you can do things that take care of your health. See what symptoms you should have, your doctor or gynecologist check them out. And find out what things put a woman at high risk for disease, if necessary to be able to receive preventative treatments. Here are two doctors who treat gynecological cancers to find out as soon as possible about the detection of ovarian cancer.
Talk If You Have Symptoms
Sometimes ovarian cancer does not cause it symptoms in the beginning, especially in the first phase of the disease. That’s when cancer it’s limited to one or both of you ovaries, which store eggs and produce female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
“There are a lot of places abdomen When the ovary grows “a tumor arises,” says Leslie Boyd, MD, director of NYU Langone’s Gynecologic Oncology Division. “Usually, so Stage I ovarian cancer it’s a pretty quiet disease. “
Katherine Kurnit, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Chicago, agrees. Generally, when women begin to spread cancer, push other structures, or invade other parts of the body, women begin to experience symptoms.
It is possible that symptoms may pick up in the early stages of the disease, however. Some of them are:
- Mine in your abdomen or pelvis
- Feeling full quickly when you eat
- The need to urinate urgently or frequently
Kurnit says talk to your primary care doctor or your gynecologist if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new to you and do not go away. Because ovarian cancer can cause non-specific problems, such as intestinal or intestinal problems, be aware that it is usually misdiagnosed as a gastrointestinal or intestinal problem, Kurnite and Boyd say.
If you get treatment for one of these conditions and your symptoms last for two weeks or more, continue with another doctor or your gynecologist. A pelvis ultrasound Boyd says this is a quick test that can give your gynecologist a lot of information about what’s going on with you.
See what can cause great risk
Some things increase the chances of ovarian cancer, as in old age. The disease is rare when you are under 40 years old. It’s much more common when you’re 63 or older. It usually begins after menopause.
Boyd and Kurnit say that two key things pose a high risk of getting the disease: the medical history of a close family and some gene changes or “mutations”.
If you have first-time relatives like a sister or mother who has had ovarian cancer, your chances of getting the disease go up, Kurnit says. Having a close relative who has had breast cancer he says it can also be a risk factor.
Hereditary mutations in genes called BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are associated with an increased risk of ovarian and other cancers. One way or another to find out if you have a mutation is to test your genes. You can ask your doctor or gynecologist genetic analysis may be right for you. If so, they may turn to a genetic counselor.
“One way to identify someone at high risk or to identify them with one of those genetic mutations that put them at higher risk for family cancer is to consult with a genetic counselor,” says Boyd. “They can go through the risks and benefits of getting genetic testing, and then if it makes sense to the patient, continue testing.”
If you decide to take genetic testing, a consultant can help explain your results. “Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand what it’s like to have a gene mutation for someone who isn’t in the medical field or for someone who doesn’t know that,” says Kurnit.
If you are diagnosed with a mutation in your BRCA genes, your counselor can see how it affects your risk of ovarian and other cancers. Kurnit says they can say the best way to share information with any sibling, “both men and women, who would also be at higher risk for cancer syndromes.”
Direct gene testing for consumers is also available. Boyd says trying to interpret the results on your own without the help of a consultant can be daunting.
If you learn that you are at high risk for ovarian cancer, your doctor or gynecologist will take good care of your health and explain what preventive treatments may be right for you, as well as the risks and benefits of each.
What to do if you are at medium risk
Doctors would like to perform a detailed examination to detect symptoms of ovarian cancer before it develops, but it does not exist. Tests like that Pap for testing cervical cancer they are not effective in finding signs of early ovarian cancer. For now, the U.S. Prevention Services Working Group recommends that doctors do not normally examine women at average risk for symptoms.
However, Boyd says, “It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your gynecologist throughout the stages of life. And certainly after menopause, you’re at the highest risk for the most common gynecologic cancers.”
Kurnit agrees. “Often women think that after menopause they don’t have to go to the gynecologist.” It is recommended to continue with the gynecological care and routine examinations recommended by a regular doctor.
Boyd says knowing the overall risk of ovarian cancer is “relatively low.” The odds you get in life are about 1 in 78, or 1.3%.
If you have ovarian cancer, the treatments help people live better and longer than before, he says.