World Ovarian Cancer Day

World Ovarian Cancer Day

The World Ovarian Cancer Day, which falls on May 8th, is a crucial reminder to spread the word about ovarian cancer, support more research and improved treatment choices, and give women the confidence to put their health first. The symptoms may not appear until after the disease has advanced, ovarian cancer is frequently referred to as a "silent killer". It is the eighth most prevalent type of cancer in women and the seventh largest global cause of mortality from cancer in women. The awareness initiatives can contribute to lessening the impact of ovarian cancer on women's lives by raising awareness and supporting programs for early identification and better treatment.

Importance Of Ovarian Cancer Day

  1. Raising Awareness
  2. Promoting Early Detection
  3. Empowering Women
  4. Supporting Patients and Caregivers
  5. Advancing Research and Advocacy
  6. Reducing Stigma and Misconceptions

What is Ovarian Cancer?

The condition known as ovarian cancer occurs when malignant (cancerous) cells grow inside the female reproductive system's ovaries. The production of female hormones including progesterone and estrogen, as well as eggs, is done by the ovaries. If left untreated, ovarian cancer can spread to other regions of the body and impair the organs' normal function.

Types of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer can be classified into several types based on the cells where the cancer begins.

  1. Epithelial Ovarian Cancer:

Roughly 90% of instances of ovarian cancer are of this kind, making it the most prevalent. The cells that cover the surface of the ovaries are called epithelial cells, and this is where it starts. Subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancer include mucinous, endometrioid, serous, clear cell, and undifferentiated carcinomas.

  1. Germ Cell Tumors:

The cells that make eggs (ova) are the source of these malignancies. Usually affecting younger women, germ cell tumors are less prevalent than epithelial ovarian cancer. Subtypes such choriocarcinomas, immature teratomas, yolk sac tumors, and dysgerminomas are among them.

  1. Stromal Tumors:

The cells that develop hormones and maintain the ovaries' structural integrity are where these tumors grow. Roughly 7% of ovarian malignancies are stromal tumors. Granulosa cell tumors and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors are the two primary subtypes.

  1. Mixed Epithelial-Stromal Tumors:

These tumors have features common to both stromal and epithelial cells. They may contain characteristics of both forms of ovarian cancer and are very uncommon.

Ovarian Cancer’s Factors/Cause

Ovarian cancer may result from a mix of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Some significant risk factors include age (since the risk increases with age), endometriosis, obesity, hormone replacement medication, inherited genetic variants (such BRCA1 and BRCA2), and specific reproductive characteristics (like never having children, starting menstruation early, or approaching menopause late).

How To Prevent?

Preventing ovarian cancer isn’t always possible, but there are steps that may reduce the risk:

  1. Healthy Lifestyle:

Maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly.

  1. Oral Contraceptives:

Taking birth control pills can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, especially with long-term use.

  1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer.

  1. Surgical Options:

Some women at high risk, especially those with BRCA mutations, may consider preventive surgeries like bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes) or hysterectomy.

      5. Regular Check-Ups:

Regular pelvic exams and discussions with your healthcare provider about your family history and personal risk factors can help in early detection or preventive measures.

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