There are many factors which influence ovarian cancer prognosis, like at what stage was it diagnosed, the type of cancer, etc. Scroll down to read more about ovarian cancer and its prognosis.
Prognosis is the prediction of the course that a disease will take. The patient’s condition is very important in determining ovarian cancer prognosis. At the same time, response to treatment by the patient also has an important role to play in the prognosis. Before we discuss the details about prognosis, let us see in brief about ovarian cancer symptoms and ovarian cancer treatment.
When healthy cells in the ovaries, turn into malignant tumors, which cause harm to the body, it is called ovarian cancer. In some cases, ovarian cancer affects just one of the two ovaries and in some cases both the ovaries may get affected. It is one of the major causes of cancer deaths in the United States and it is also the seventh largest cancer affecting people. Women who are more prone to ovarian cancer are over the age of 70, have family history of ovarian cancer, are prone to ovarian cyst, have infertility issues, and also those undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Many a time, the symptoms of ovarian cancer can go unnoticed or they may not be understood as symptoms of ovarian cancer. The most common symptoms include swelling in the abdomen, indigestion, problems with bowel movements, gas, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, tiredness, and pain during intercourse. The only symptom, which highlights to a problem with reproductive system and ovarian cancer is pain during intercourse. However, this symptom can also go unnoticed, as pain during sex can also be caused due to various general reasons.
Even if the person goes to a doctor, the chances of mis-diagnosis are high. The main reason behind mis-diagnosis is that, in the initial stages the tumors are not clearly visible. In case they are visible, chances are, they might not be malignant. As a matter of fact a number of times they are benign.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment
The treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. If it is stage I cancer and the woman wishes to get pregnant, only the affected ovary and fallopian tube will be removed. In most other cases, the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are removed. If cancer has also spread to the surrounding areas, the surrounding lymph nodes and structures may also have to be removed. Chemotherapy will be used to destroy small groups of cells, where cancer persists.
Ovarian Cancer Prognosis
Many women want to know about their survival chances. It is important that they as well as their loved ones understand and plan for appropriate treatment, make decisions about finance, lifestyle changes required, etc. If one wants to know the cancer prognosis by stage, some of the factors, which play an important role include the type of cancer, location, and affected area. The stage of the disease, along with the person’s age, general health, and response to treatment have an important role to play.
The figures of ovarian cancer survival rate are not very encouraging. According to the statistics, only 35 to 38 percent of the women emerge victorious from their battle with cancer. The reason is most often that ovarian cancer is detected late. One of the many reasons, is that there are no screening tests available for ovarian cancer.
Once ovarian cancer is identified in the initial stages, the prognosis will give assurance to the woman about survival. If it is identified in the later stages recovery becomes impossible with passing time.
Now let’s see ovarian cancer prognosis stage by stage. If ovarian cancer was diagnosed in the early stages and it has affected only the ovaries, the five year survival rate is 90%. When the cancer spreads to the pelvis the five year survival rate drops to 70%. If the cancer spreads outside the pelvis, the five year survival rate drops drastically to 30%. It is very difficult to know prognosis without treatment, as the symptoms which may arise due to ovarian cancer vary. There can be other complications like blockage in the intestine, inability to eat, kidney problems, etc., which can reduce the span of life.
Ultimately, I would like to say, giving a prognosis of ovarian cancer is very difficult, as the circumstances, with each patient are different. However, it is always good to spend a happy life, than worry about tomorrow. Take care!