When living with or caring for someone with ovarian cancer, educating yourself on the condition can help you become familiar with what to expect. Select a topic below to learn more.
What Is Ovarian Cancer?
Generally, cancer occurs when cells inside of the body begin to abnormally grow and spread. Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that can originate in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.1
women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually2
Types of Ovarian Cancer
The ovaries are primarily made up of germ cells, epithelial cells,
and stromal cells. Because cancer can originate in each type of these cells, there are several types of ovarian cancer.1,3
|Epithelial Ovarian Cancer3||
|Germ Cell Carcinoma3||
|Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary3||
Recognizing the Signs & Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Because early diagnosis is key, it is important to recognize the signs of ovarian cancer.4 This can be difficult because some of these signs are similar to common health conditions.5 Therefore, it is very important to listen to your body and note any persistent irregularities that may arise.
|Most common symptoms5||
|These symptoms are more likely to be linked to ovarian cancer if they are5||
Similar to first diagnosis, signs and symptoms of recurrence may include7:
swelling, or bloating
Pelvic & lower
Talk to your doctor about routine gynecologic care and annual pelvic exams, as screening is recommended to detect for recurrence.8
Many symptoms of ovarian cancer are also common ailments. It is important to be persistent and proactive in keeping your doctor informed to help foster earlier diagnosis. This is especially critical if common ailments like food sensitivities and gastrointestinal complications have been ruled out.5
|A variety of tests can be used to diagnose ovarian cancer9||
|Examples of tests9||
|PAP smears conducted during physical examinations do not identify ovarian cancer.9|
Staging at Diagnosis
To stage ovarian cancer, tissue samples are taken during surgery. Ovarian cancer is typically given one of 4 stages at diagnosis10:
Who Is at Increased Risk for Ovarian Cancer?
There are several risk factors that can increase or decrease the likelihood that a woman will develop ovarian cancer.
|Factors that increase risk11||
|Factors that Decrease risk11||
Using Genetic Testing to Determine Risk
Testing for the BRCA gene can help determine if a person is at an increased risk for developing cancer.12
|What are BRCA1 and BRCA2?||
|What does a positive test for BRCA mean?||
|Who should get genetic testing?||
People who have any of the following12: