In Singapore, ovarian cancer is the 5th most common cancer.
Causes and Risks
Ovarian cancer generally affects older women and is more common where risk factors such as a late or no pregnancy, early menstruation, late menopause, history of breast cancer, endometriosis or a genetic predisposition are present.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Ovarian cancer only shows symptoms in its advanced stages. Regular visits to the gynaecologist that include a pelvic ultrasound to detect abnormal ovarian cysts are recommended. Women who experience one of the below symptoms are advised to seek medical advice for professional interpretation:
- Change in bowel habits / Indigestion
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Pain in the back or legs
- Urinary complaints
Ovarian cancer treatment begins with an exploratory surgery. Often the ovaries, uterus and surrounding lymphatic system have to be removed. In aggressive or advanced stages chemotherapy may be needed.