Ovarian Cancer Sugabi Clinic

Ovarian Cancer: Detecting the Silent Killer and Finding the Right Treatment


Ovarian cancer is a significant health concern for women worldwide, with early detection and awareness being key to improved outcomes. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to ovarian malignancy, its risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options. By familiarising yourself on this crucial topic, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions regarding your wellbeing.

Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

Several factors may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, including:

  1. Age: Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women aged 50 or older.
  2. Family history and genetic mutations: A family history of ovarian or breast cancer and mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase the risk.
  3. Endometriosis: Women with endometriosis are at a higher risk of developing ovarian malignancy.
  4. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Long-term use of HRT has been associated with a raised risk of ovarian malignancy.
  5. Obesity: Being overweight can increase the risk of developing various cancers, including ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer often presents with vague symptoms that can be easily mistaken for other conditions. Common symptoms include:

  1. Persistent bloating
  2. Pelvic or abdominal pain
  3. Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  4. Increased need to urinate

Less common symptoms may include back pain, changes in bowel habits, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they are persistent, it is essential to consult your healthcare professional.

Diagnosis of ovarian cancer

If ovarian cancer is suspected, your doctor may recommend several diagnostic tests, such as:

  1. Pelvic examination: A physical examination to check for abnormalities.
  2. Blood tests: A blood test to measure CA125 levels, which can be elevated in ovarian cancer.
  3. Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans to examine the ovaries and surrounding structures.
  4. Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Staging of the ovarian malignancy

Once ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it is staged based on the extent of the cancer:

  1. Localised: Cancer remains confined to the ovary or ovaries.
  2. Regional: The cancer has spread to nearby structures, such as the tubes, uterus, or nearby lymph nodes.
  3. Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs.

Staging helps determine the most appropriate treatment options.


Treatment for ovarian cancer depends on factors such as the stage and type of cancer, as well as the patient’s general health and choices. Common treatment options include:

  1. Surgery: Removal of the tumour and affected tissue, which may include removing one or both ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus.
  2. Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, typically administered after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
  3. Targeted therapy: Medications that specifically target cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.

Additional treatment options may include hormone therapy, immunotherapy, or participation in clinical trials.

Prevention and Early Detection

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent ovarian cancer, some strategies may help reduce the risk:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Use oral contraceptives
  3. Breastfeed
  4. Consider risk-reducing surgery for women with a high genetic risk

Early detection is crucial, as ovarian malignancy is more treatable in its early stages. Regular check-ups and discussing any concerns with your doctor can help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.


Awareness, early detection, and proper management are vital in addressing ovarian cancer. By understanding the risk factors, recognising symptoms, and seeking appropriate care when needed, you can make a positive impact on your health and the health of the women in your life. Stay informed and proactive to ensure the best possible outcomes in the fight against ovarian cancer.

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