Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the name specific to cancer of the

ovaries

in the female reproductive system. Women are more likely to develop ovarian cancer from middle age or if they have a familial history of ovarian cancer. Symptoms can include bloating, urinary frequency, abdominal pain and changes in appetite. To diagnose ovarian cancer a GP will first perform a

pelvic exam

to gently feel for abnormalities. An

ultrasound

will generally show any tumours that may be present. If there are abnormalities in the ultrasound the patient will be referred to a

gynaecologist

for further tests including blood tests, a

CT scan

and/or

diagnostic laparoscopic surgery

. If positively diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a team of specialists will care for the patient including

gynaecological oncologists

,

gynaecological surgeons

and

radiotherapists

. Treatment of ovarian cancer normally begins with surgical removal of as much of the cancer as possible. A

hysterectomy

removes the uterus and both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Chemotherapy

after surgery will help to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Radiation oncology

is another treatment for killing cancer cells and/or improving symptoms.

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