Mumbai: Ovarian cancer is one of most common cancer among women. It is also one of the cancers that gets detected late. Here`s everything you need to know about it and why SILS is a good option.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be very vague. Most of us tend to ignore an increase in abdominal size, a bloated feeling, indigestion, and pain in the lower back and abdomen.
According to Dr Vanita Raut, a gynaecologist of Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, the symptoms are not very obvious as we also tend to confuse them with symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Genes is one of the causes of ovarian cancer. If there is a family history of ovarian cancer, it could put you at greater risk. However, it is not necessary that a woman will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer if her mother had it.
Women with endometriosis and those who use post menopausal estrogen replacement therapy are also at a high risk. Another factor is alcohol. More than two drinks a day has also been found to up the risk of ovarian cancer.
"You can detect the cancer in its early stages by undergoing routine gynaecological check-ups and ultrasounds," says Dr Shinde. Those above the age of 40 should especially make it a point to have these done regularly.
While ovarian cancer usually affects women between the ages of 50 and 70, it can also occur in young adolescent girls. According to Dr Raut, ovarian cancer in younger girls is a lot more malignant than those affecting older women. Therefore, if you have unexplained pain in the abdomen along with bloating, get an ultrasound test done immediately.
MRIs and CT scans can confirm if you have the disease. Surgery is the primary treatment of ovarian cancer.
It is usually recommended for those with malignant tumors that are confined to the ovary. Patients who are at an advanced stage will be recommended chemotherapy post surgery. Surgery could either be removal of one or two ovaries, fallopian tubes or hysterectomy.
Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) is the best option since sugery with minimal invasio is usually recommended for removal of tumors.
With SILS, only one 20mm incision is made through with a scope is inserted which takes pictures telling the surgeon what he will need to do. It uses instruments that are flexible and can be easily moved around. SILS is in short surgery which is performed without opening you up. Since it does not involve too many stitches, there is minimal loss of blood and very less pain.
One of the major advantages are that post this procedure one can resume their chores within 24 hours. Fortis hospitals have been practising this procedure for over a year now. The procedure is relatively new in India and not many hospitals offer the expertise Fortis does.
"After surgery, if we find out that the tumour will respond to chemicals, the patient undergoes chemotherapy," says Dr Veena Shinde, a Mumbai-based gynaecologist.
Ovarian cancer is not a disease that can be predicted well in advance since it has no particular causes or patterns. But if detected in early stages, it can be completely treated. Simply eat well, sleep well, live well and be worry-free.