Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Getting a cancer diagnosis of any kind can be a life changing event that you never forget. It’s important before jumping to conclusions that you may have cancer to discuss your concerns with a medical professional to learn more about what your symptoms may mean.
For those that are not familiar with the symptoms of ovarian cancer, learning more about the telltale signs can help you to determine whether you should be speaking with your medical team about the possibility of ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
There are many different symptoms that are associated with ovarian cancer. If the disease has spread past the ovaries, many of the common symptoms may start to appear. This is why ovarian cancer in women is one of the more difficult cancers to diagnosis because early on it doesn’t cause many symptoms. The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- Abdominal pain or pain in the pelvic region
- Difficulty eating and getting full without eating much food
- The urgency to urinate often, or urinating frequently
These common symptoms above can also be associated with other common non-cancerous conditions, which is why it is always beneficial to contact medical professionals like those at Go Health Screening to schedule an appointment to discuss the symptoms that you are experiencing.
Additional symptoms of ovarian cancer can include pain during intercourse, constipation, changes in your menstrual cycle, swelling in the abdominal region and additional weight loss.
Causes of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is one cancer that is still plaguing doctors and researchers today by the cause. There is not one known cause to the disease, but many factors can also put you at a higher risk of developing it.
Women who have close relatives that have had ovarian or breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing the BRCA genes which raise the risk of developing the cancer significantly. Those who have relatives that have suffered from prostate, colon or uterine cancer are also at a much higher risk. Genetic screening can be completed to help determine if you are at a higher risk of developing the cancer due to an inherited BRCA gene.
The age of women also has shown some research into when they may be at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Those over the age of 65 are at higher risk than their younger counterparts.
Keeping up with your gynecological history and getting yearly pap smears is a great way to ensure that you stay up to date on your preventative female care. This will help to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer by early detection. It is important to remember that many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are usually not recognizable until the disease has progressed further.
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This test is used to gauge whether someone is suffering from folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency.
For people with a history of heart disease in the family in the absence of other risk factors such as being overweight or obese, high blood pressure or smoking; the test can be used in screening patients for stroke or heart attack.
CA 19.9 $67
Serum CA 19.9 levels are usually increased to about 80% among patients who are dealing with pancreatic cancer. They are also evident in 54-89% of patients with stomach cancer, while 65% for those who have colorectal cancer. From time to time, the serum level may also increase in benign conditions, such as acute and chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, as well as hepatobillary tract disease. In benign disease, however, CA 19.9 generally does not go over 100U/ml.
HaemoglobinA1c, or HbAIc, is a diabetes marker, which may be used in long-term care monitoring for people who are suffering from diabetes. The level of HbA1c is directly proportional to the glucose level within the blood. It has been accepted widely as a determining factor that indicates the mean daily concentration of blood glucose throughout the preceding couple of months. According to recent studies, regular measurement and assessment of HbA1c results to the change in diabetes treatment, as well as the improvement of the metabolic control which is indicated with the lowering of the HbA1c valves.
CA 125 $67
This glycol protein is produced in several ovarian cancers. The levels of CA 125 that are above 335ng/ml have been detected in about 20-40% of patients who have State I and II ovarian cancers, as well as 96% of patients who have State III and IV of this disease. In less common situations, the levels can increase in patients who have cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, endometrium, cervix, as well as the fallopian tube. The increase in levels may also be present in some benign conditions such as peritoneal inflammation and endometriosis. CA 125 is also helpful when it comes to monitoring individuals for treatment response and recurrence of tumour.
C-Reactive Protein $37
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a particular substance which is produced within the liver as a result of inflammation. CRP is also known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), as well as ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP). With a high CRP level in the blood, there is a possibility of having a condition which can cause inflammation, ranging from the possibility of an upper respiratory infection to more serious conditions such as cancer. Higher levels of CRP can also be an indication of an inflammation in the heart arteries, swelling of the tissues that line the joints and infection of a bone. This, in turn, may pose a higher risk for heart attack. However, it is important to keep in mind, that CRP is a nonspecific test which may be elevated with any type of inflammatory condition.
CA 15.3 $67
The test for CA 15.3 is considered as a marker of tumour. It is often used in checking how treatment for breast cancer works, looking for cancer that has recurred post treatment. If you are being diagnosed with cancer of the breast, you may go through this test. It is not used for measuring early stage of breast cancer since the levels of this type of protein are only rarely higher than the normal levels within this stage.
PSA is a substance produced within the prostate gland. It is also highly useful when it comes to the diagnosis of prostate cancer, including the monitoring for spreading and recurrence of tumour in patients. Generally, a little amount of PSA can be found in the blood. Increase in the levels of PSA may be caused by benign prostatic or even prostate cancer.
HIV Antibody $27
The antibody screening test is considered as the most common HIV test, looking into the antibodies that is produced by the body against HIV. It may be done on oral or blood fluid, but not saliva. Since the antibody levels in the oral fluid is relatively lower as in the blood, majority of blood-based tests discover the infection sooner right after being exposed compared to rapid HIV tests.