Ovarian Cancer

Doctor’s Profile

Dr. Rubina Tariq

Assistant Professor

Services Hospital Lahore

How is ovarian cancer detected ? How would I know I have cancer?

Q: How is ovarian cancer detected ? How would I know I have cancer?

Ans: Ovarian cancer is usually detected in later stages and that too in routine ultra sound or pelvic check. Its symptoms usually occur 6-12 months before the cancer is found, but since they are general or non specific, like, gas or pain, swelling in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting. However, these can all be caused by a number of other diseases, so this makes it difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer by symptoms alone. But if you are aware of the symptoms and have a simple blood test done very early on it is possible to detect cancer.

Who are at risk?

Q: Who are at risk?

Ans: Women after age 50, or women with family history of ovarian cancer and women who have not given birth to are most at risk.

What sort of treatment would you recommend once cancer is detected?

Q: What Sort of treatment would you recommend once cancer is detected?

Ans: Ovarian cancer cannot be diagnosed with certainty by non-invasive techniques like USG, C-t scan or MRI. Sometimes needle aspiration of ascetic fluid or an ovarian mass may yield malignant cells. The mainstay of Rx is surgery, which involves removal of all tumor mass. This can be achieved in Stage 1 ovarian cancer, but in stages beyond stage1, uterus, tubes and both ovaries with mass have to be removed. Microscopic deposits will persist in peritoneal cavity so they will further be controlled by chemotherapy. Common

What are the risks associated with the treatment?

Q: What are the risks associated with the treatment?

Ans: Risks include those of anesthesia and surgery. In most teaching hospitals of Lahore, anesthesia and surgery is usually safe, the chances of table death are rare. Chemotherapy is associated with nausea, vomiting, alopecia, bleeding tendencies and infections.

Will I be able to work or will I be in bed ridden and for how long?

Q: What should I do about diet and exercise while I am getting treated?

Ans: Good nutrition is very important during this period .You have to take a balanced and easily digestible diet, which will help you maintain your stamina and your ability to cope with side effects of the treatment.. Water intake should be high during chemotherapy. Eat protein rich foods, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, poultry and fish. Regular but not too strenuous exercise is recommended.

What should I do about diet and exercise while I am getting treated?

Q: Will I be able to have children?

Ans: If your cancer is detected in stage 1, your surgeon may remove only the ovary involved and its fallopian tube and you can lead a normal healthy life and have children.

Will I be able to have children?

Q: What will be my prognosis?

Ans: The out come is often poor. 78% women survive one year after diagnosis and 30% live longer than five years after diagnosis.

What will be my prognosis?

Q: After I go through the treatment you prescribe, what are the chances that cancer will come back?

Ans: One needs to come back for follow- up. Cases at stage 1 and cancer with good differentiation of cells (on histopathology) may remain symptom free for more than a decade. Those with advanced stage of cancer have chances of reoccurrence. The 5 year survival is just 30%.

After I go through the treatment you prescribe, what are the chances that cancer will come back?

Q: If it does come back what then?

Ans: If there is reoccurrence, further surgery and more advanced chemotherapy are the options.