Ovarian cancer is the deadliest type of gynecologic cancer. That's probably because it typically is not diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage. But you can help protect yourself by knowing if you are at risk and what symptoms to watch for.
The exact causes of ovarian cancer are unknown. But the following factors may play a role:
Being older than age 50 increases the odds of developing ovarian cancer.
Women who have had colon or breast cancer may face a higher risk for ovarian cancer than those who have not had either of these other cancers.
Women who have never given birth have a higher risk than women who have.
According to some evidence, using hormone replacement therapy after menopause may slightly raise risk. So might the use of fertility drugs that trigger ovulation.
If detected early, ovarian cancer is treatable. But symptoms often are vague and may not show up until later stages of the cancer. These easy-to-overlook warning signs may include:
For epithelial cancer, germ cell tumor and low malignant potential tumor, most patients have surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Options include:
An additional option for patients with low malignant potential tumor is partial oophorectomy to remove part of one ovary or part of both ovaries.
Even if the surgeon removes all the cancer visible at the time of surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). This rare distinction is given to cancer programs that uphold the highest standard of care for patients. When you choose Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers for your cancer treatment, you can rest assured you will receive the best possible care delivered by a compassionate team of caregivers in a calm, healing environment.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be an overwhelming experience. Our Cancer Centers make sure that you’ll never fight cancer alone.Learn More
If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, are currently going through treatment or have completed primary treatment, you are a cancer survivor.Learn More
For more information about Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, including how to get connected to our support services or an affiliated provider, please call (833) 770-7771 or fill out the form below to be connected to one of our Oncology Nurse Navigators.