Ovarian tumor: signs and symptoms

Benign Ovarian tumor SymptomOvarian tumorOvarian cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed gynaecologic malignancy, the deadliest gynaecologic malignancy, and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States of America, and most of the developed world. About 1 in 70 women eventually develop ovarian cancer, and 1 in a 100 women die of it. Ovarian cancer affects predominantly premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Hence a greater awareness and understanding of ovarian cancer is extremely important and well merited, as is an increased engagement of the medical community in further research into its treatment, So as to prolong the life expectancy and quality of the women suffering from this disease.Epithelial cancer of the ovary is one of the main causes of death from any gynaecological malignancies in the western world. The disease accounts for about more than 5% of all cancer deaths among women, more dying from this than the combined deaths of both cervical and endometrial cancer.The age specific incidence of the common epithelial type of ovarian cancer increases progressively and peaking the eighth decade. Epithelial tumors, unlike germ cell and stromal tumors are uncommon before the age of 40. Epidemiological studies suggest higher incidences in industrialized nations and an association with disordered ovarian functioning i.e. infertility, null parity, frequent miscarriages, and the use of ovulation inducting drugs such as clomiphene. Each pregnancy reduces the ovarian cancer risk by about 10%, and breast feeding and tubal ligation also appears to reduce the risk. Oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in patients with a family history of cancers and in the general population. Many of these risk reduction factors support the incessant ovulation hypothesis for ovarian cancer aetiology, which implies that an aberrant repair of the surface epithelium is central to ovarian cancer development. Estrogens replacement after menopause does not appear to increase the risk of ovarian cancer. The common epithelial tumors account for 60% of all ovarian neoplasm’s and for 80% to 90% of ovarian malignancies. The remaining tumors arise from ovarian germ cells or stromal cells. The epithelial tumors arise from the surface epithelium or serosa of the ovary. It is thought that germ cell tumors originate in cells derived from the primitive streak that ultimately migrated to the gonads. The mesenchyma gives rise to the ovarian stroma, and stromal tumors arise from this original cell type. Abdominal discomfort and bloating are the most common symptoms experienced by women with epithelial ovarian cancers, followed by vaginal bleeding, gastrointestinal symptoms, and urinary tract symptoms. The most common physical signs are ascites and a pelvic mass. The mass is frequently firm, hard, and fixed with multiple nodularities palpable in the cul-de-sac. Level of the cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) tumor biomarker is elevated in more than 80% of serous epithelial ovarian cancers, but it can also be elevated in a variety of benign conditions and other nongynecologic malignancies. Furthermore, in early-stage ovarian cancers, CA 125 level is elevated in less than half of cases. Preoperatively, tumor marker levels are useful in predicting the potential for malignancy. During treatment for ovarian cancer, CA 125 level is a very useful barometer of disease activity and can be used to follow response to therapy and to detect an early recurrence.