There are two ovaries in the female body, which are located on both sides of the uterus. Their function is to produce eggs and release them during the ovulation period.
When a sac (which is made of air, fluid, and other things) forms inside or on the surface of the ovary, it is called an ovarian cyst. It is of two types:
- simple cyst- Made of simple liquids. It does not cause any symptoms. It is formed due to the menstrual cycle.
- Complex cyst- Solid matter and blood are present. It has nothing to do with the menstrual cycle. It occurs in very few people but is fatal.
Most cysts that form in the ovaries are asymptomatic. However, a large cyst can cause the following symptoms:
- heaviness in stomach
- pelvic area pain
- abdominal swelling
If you have a lump or tumor in your ovary, it does not mean that you have ovarian cancer. Very rarely, but some ovarian cysts can develop into cancer. Women who have gone through menopause are more prone to ovarian cyst cancer.
Ovarian cysts and cancer
About 7% of women face an ovarian lump in their lifetime, of which only 5-10 percent require surgery to remove it.
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Of these 5-10 percent of women, 13 to 21 percent of women develop cysts.
This means that if a woman undergoes a surgical procedure for ovarian cysts, she is at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
However, surgery for simple and benign ovarian cysts does not increase the risk of cancer. Cancer is mostly caused by surgery for complex cysts, with very few cases.
Symptoms of ovarian cyst cancer
If an ovarian cyst has turned into cancer, it is more likely not to cause any symptoms. If symptoms are seen then it can be beneficial. Seeing the symptoms, it can be diagnosed and treated in proper time.
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In the early stages of cancer, a woman may see these symptoms:
- belly size increase
- always feeling full
- loss of appetite
- increased need to urinate
- pelvic area or abdominal pain
If someone in your family history (real mother, sister or daughter) has had or has had ovarian cancer, you are at increased risk. In this situation, if the above-mentioned symptoms are seen, then do not delay in getting the test done.
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Ovarian cyst cancer diagnosis
If by looking at the symptoms, the doctor thinks that your ovarian cyst is turning into cancer, then you may have to undergo the following screening procedures:
- Imaging test- Ovarian cysts can be found to be cancerous by ultrasound or MRI examination.
- blood test- CA-125 is a protein, which is a cancer antigen. This protein is found in ovarian cancer cells. This cell also circulates in the blood. Through a blood test, the level of CA-125 cells in a woman’s blood is detected. If its level is high then the woman is suffering from ovarian cancer.
- Biopsy- The doctor may do a biopsy to confirm the cancer. The cyst or tumor sample is viewed under a microscope.
Cancerous ovarian cyst treatment
Ovarian cyst cancer is spreadable. In a short time, it can take over the entire ovary. Gradually, this cancer can reach the other ovary, fallopian tube, uterus and bladder. Therefore, if it is diagnosed in time, the cancer does not spread and treatment is easy.
Ovarian cancer can be treated in the following ways:
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There are different types of surgical procedures performed depending on the size and spread of the cancer, such as:
- Removal of one ovary In the early stages of cancer, when it has not spread to nearby organs, only one ovary and its attached fallopian tubes may be removed. After this process, the woman is able to have a child naturally.
- Removal of both ovaries If the cancer has spread to both ovaries, with no signs in the rest of the organs, only the woman’s ovaries and their attached fallopian tubes are removed. After this procedure, a woman can become a mother with the help of IVF.
- Removal of both ovaries and uterus If your cancer has spread to the uterus, the surgeon may remove both ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and nearby lymph nodes. Hysterectomy can be done to remove these organs. It will destroy your ability to be a mother forever.
Chemotherapy is done along with surgery to treat advanced cancer. This is a way to destroy cancer cells with the help of drugs.
Chemotherapy drugs can be injected into the veins of the patient. Can also be given orally.
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Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery.
This therapy can be used to treat ovarian cancer. Targeted therapy drugs target the weaknesses within the cancer cells.
There are many types of it. The doctor can test the cancer cells to find out which targeted therapy is best for you.
Research is ongoing to further improve this therapy.
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Most ovarian cysts do not show any symptoms and are not cancerous. In very rare cases, they cause ovarian cancer.
However, if you see the symptoms of an ovarian cyst, then do get it checked once. If the cyst has turned into cancer, and it is detected early, then treatment is easy.