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3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Should Know About

3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Should Know About
3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Should Know About
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 21,750 women in the U.S. will get a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. It accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Although ovarian cancer commonly affects older women, it can occur in young women and even teens. Therefore, learning about this type of cancer is necessary for every woman.

There are three types of ovarian cancer. While each woman has different symptoms and signs of cancer, knowing the similarities and differences between these three types of ovarian cancer can be helpful.

The ovary is a reproductive organ in which eggs are produced along with female and male hormones called estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. So, why is this organ affected by three different types of cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the cause is that the ovaries are made of three main types of cells that can each develop tumors. Stromal cells keep the ovaries together and produce estrogen and progesterone. Epithelial cells make up the surface of the ovaries, and germ cells create eggs, and stromal cells keep the ovaries together.

However, according to emerging science, certain types of ovarian cancers can start in the fallopian tubes. Scientists still don’t know the exact cause of it but they are continuing to study how this occurs.

3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer

Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer

Germ cell ovarian cancer occurs in the egg-producing cells. This type makes up less than two percent of all ovarian cancers. This type of cancer usually affects young women and even girls. Dysgerminoma is the most common ovarian germ cell cancer which usually occurs in women in their teens and 20s. Another ovarian germ cell cancer is called immature teratoma and it often occurs in girls younger than 18. Scientists still don’t fully understand why this type of cancer occurs in young women and girls. It might be due to the fact that these cells are more active in younger women.

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Epithelial ovarian cancer starts in the ovarian epithelium. The Mayo Clinic reports that nearly 90 percent of ovarian cancer cases are caused by this type of cancer. Serous carcinomas are the most common kind of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Stromal Ovarian Cancer

Stromal ovarian cancer is the rarest type of ovarian cancer making up approximately one percent of ovarian cancers. It occurs in the ovarian tissue that contains hormone-producing cells and is often recognized at an earlier stage. In fact, these tumors can be present in the ovary and grow for a long time without any manifestations. Any type of stromal tumors can release the female hormone called estrogen. This is important because it can cause visible symptoms of ovarian cancer.

3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Should Know About
3 Types Of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Should Know About

6 Common Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer

In most cases, ovarian cancers don’t cause pain and don’t provoke enough noticeable symptoms unless tumors become too large. However, ovarian cancers often manifest themselves with non-specific symptoms that can also occur due to a lot of things that are not linked to cancer:

1. Feeling Full Quickly When You Eat

2. Bloating Or Abdominal Swelling

3. Weight Loss For Unknown Reasons

4. Stomach Discomfort Or Pain

5. Frequent Urge To Urinate

6. Changes In Bowel Movements Such As Diarrhea Or Constipation

Epithelial ovarian cancers that are most common most likely provoke these non-specific symptoms. The other two less common types are at least more likely to cause more attention-grabbing signs. If you notice all of these symptoms, it’s important to visit your gynecologist as soon as possible.

Some kinds of ovarian germ cell cancer, particularly dysgerminomas, can become large before being diagnosed, which can cause abdominal pain. They can provoke irregular bleeding as well.

Unusual vaginal bleeding is probably the most common sign of stromal ovarian cancer due to excess estrogen. Also, stromal tumors can produce hormones testosterone leading to amenorrhea and hirsutism.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Treatment may vary depending on the stage and type of cancer. The main treatment for ovarian cancer is surgery. If the cancer is in only one ovary, surgery might only require removing that ovary and fallopian tube. However, if cancer has spread to both ovaries, a surgeon will remove them both along with the fallopian tubes. In addition to surgery, doctors might recommend chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that can remain after surgery.

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