Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"It Is Not So Much How Busy You Are, But Why You Are Busy. The Bee Is Praised. The Mosquito Is Swatted."

The Signs and Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer

Hi Queens, it has been a while. Life doesn't always allow you to plan and carry through those plans. So when you zig instead of zag, go with the flow and adapt. But don't allow this deterrent to dominant your true course in life. Queens, it is Tuesday which is health care day and the topic is Ovarian Caner.

What are the ovaries and the purpose of the ovaries? The ovaries are part of a woman's reproductive system. The ovaries make the female hormones -- estrogen and progesterone. They also release eggs. An egg travels from an ovary through a fallopian tube to the womb (uterus). When a woman goes through her "change of life" (menopause), her ovaries stop releasing eggs and make far lower levels of hormones.

How does the start of cancer happen? Experts have discovered that the proliferation of cancer is started with a mutated cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Every growth/tumor is not malignant. These tumors can be benign which is not life threatening. These tumors can be removed and they usually do not grow back. The tumors do not invade the tissues around them. Cells from benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.

Malignant tumors are cancerous. They can be life threatening. Malignant tumors often can be removed. But sometimes they grow back. Malignant tumors can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cells from malignant tumors can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells spread by breaking away from the original (primary) tumor and entering the lymphatic system or bloodstream. The cells invade other organs and form new tumors that damage these organs. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

Cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic system to lymph nodes in the pelvis, abdomen, and chest. Cancer cells may also spread through the bloodstream to organs such as the liver and lungs. When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the original tumor. For example, if ovarian cancer spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are actually ovarian cancer cells. The disease is metastatic ovarian cancer, not liver cancer. For that reason, it is treated as ovarian cancer, not liver cancer. Doctors call the new tumor "distant" or metastatic disease.

The risk factors associated with ovarian cancer are: Family history of cancer such as a mother, sister, or daughter with ovarian cancer. Also, women with a family history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, or rectum may also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Personal history of cancer namely breast, colon or rectum cancer has a higher risk factor of developing ovarian cancer. Age women over the age of 55. Most women over 55 are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Never pregnant, older women who have never been pregnant have a increased risk of ovarian cancer. Menopausal hormone therapy: Some studies have suggested that women who take estrogen by itself (estrogen without progesterone) for 10 or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Early ovarian cancer may not cause obvious symptoms. But, as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:

1. Pressure and pain to back, pelvis, abdomen and/or legs
2. A swollen or bloated abdomen

Less common symptoms are:

1. Shortness of breath
2. Felling the need to urinate often
3. Unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause)

There are several means of diagnosing ovarian cancer. They are pelvic exam, ultra sound, blood test, physical exam, or biopsy.

Queens, it is so important that we utilize our primary care physicians, specialized physicians and health care facilities to stay in tune with your health. Preventative measures and early detection are imperative to a positive outcome to concern ovarian cancer and other health scares.

The Tuesday's health blog topic of the day is to be used as a source of initial introduction to a health issue or to reinforce what knowledge you may already have. This information should not be used as a medical substitute from the sound and professional advice that your physician can offer you. For additional information, please log onto http://www.medicinenet.com/.

Peace and Blessings,

Tracey ReNissa

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