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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is one of the commonest cancers affecting women, yet until it reaches its later stages there may be no symptoms. Any lower abdominal swelling, increase in micturition caused by pressure on the bladder, should be brought to your GP's attention. It could quite easily be a harmless ovarian cyst, but it will need to be excluded.


Some Ovarian cancers will have developed from a cyst. On ultrasound scan a swelling can be detected but it is not possible to differentiate between this and a benign cyst. It always requires close inspection by Laparoscopy where the gynecologist can examine the ovary more closely.

Treatment is always removal, sometimes other adjacent organs such as the uterus will be removed in case the cancer cells have spread. If there is any doubt Chemotherapy will be offered just in case, to kill off any metastasis (secondary tumors ).

Ovarian cancer seems stimulated by Oestrogen, and those exposed to it for longer such as women who menstruated early and menopause late without having any children, are more at risk. It is generally found more in women over 50, with no upper age limit. In advanced cases of ovarian cancer the lower limbs may swell, as the lymph nodes become diseased and compromised.

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