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Ovarian Cancer Research Paper

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Sydney True Psych 471 Reproductive Cancers Assignment University of Nebraska-Lincoln Fall 2010 Ovarian Cancer Research Paper Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that is characterized by the formation of the cancer cells in the tissues of a woman’s reproductive glands, the ovaries. It is when normal ovarian cells begin to grow uncontrollably that this cancer develops into dangerous malignant tumors that can be found in one or both ovaries.

There are three types of these cells that are responsible for ovarian cancer: Surface epithelium, Germ cells, and Stromal cells. Surface epithelial ovarian cancer is the type that grows on the outer surface of the ovary. This is the most common form of this cancer, appearing in about 90 percent of ovarian cancer cases. Of the more rare forms, germ cell tumors originate specifically in the egg-producing cells and the Stromal ovarian cancer in the supportive tissue encasing the ovaries.

In women, older age and obesity may increase the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.

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Other factors include a personal or family history of this or other types of cancer, women who have taken estrogen after menopause (especially for longer than 5 years), and women who have trouble conceiving. The symptoms that are commonly associated with ovarian cancer are similar to some less serious disorders, but in this case, they may occur more and become more severe.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) list on their website (www. cancercenter. com) that the most general “symptoms of ovarian cancer include: Bloating, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea, change in urinary frequency (feeling like you have to go more often), pressure in the abdomen, back, or legs, vaginal bleeding (including heavy periods), and fatigue. Unfortunately, and as any woman can attest to, these symptoms may be part of a normal menstrual cycle. Thus, making this a difficult cancer to detect.

Women are encouraged to become more aware of how their body usually feels and see a doctor if any abnormalities persist after several weeks for an examination. In order to make a diagnosis of ovarian cancer a doctor will perform a serious of tests including: a pelvic examination for any knots or bumps that could be possible cancerous growths; a pap smear to test for signs of cancerous cells; an ultrasound that tests the sound waves of healthy tissue versus potential tumors.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test uses radiofrequency to distinguish diseased tissue from normal tissue. A CA 125 blood test will show a possible increase in levels of CA 125 protein, an increase that is often linked to ovarian cancer. A gynecologic oncologist can perform a laparotomy to collect fluid samples from the abdominal cavity in order to test for abnormalities. Lastly, a less invasive test that is similar to the laparascopy but requires only a few small incisions. Once a diagnosis of the cancer has been made,