12 Misconceptions About Ovarian Cancer

ovarian cancer
Courtesy of National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Ovarian cancer is a word most women fear to hear. It is the most lethal gynecology cancer and the seventh most common cancer disease in the world.

According to the American Cancer Society, if you have these symptoms more than 12 times a month, see your doctor find possible problems and get treated if needed.

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly
  • Urgency to urinate or frequent urination

Others symptoms:

  • Feeling of fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or IBS (irritable bowel movement)
  • Changes in a woman’s period, such as heavier bleeding than normal or irregular bleeding
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

People have already formed different beliefs when it comes to contracting and curing this cancer. Let us discuss these notions and find out the truth.

1. Ovarian cancer and cervical cancer are the same.

These are two different parts of the body.

Cervix is a narrow, lower part of the uterus connecting to the upper end of the vagina.

Ovarian refers to cancer that usually begins in the fallopian tubes going to the ovaries and sometimes reaching the uterus.

2. Ovarian cancer is the most common kind of gynecologic cancer.

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. One out of every 40 women may develop this kind of cancer. This type of cancer is caused by too much estrogen. Usually, having too much estrogen production is related to being overweight.

Ovarian maybe lower in number than endometrial cancer, but it is fatal. Due to the fact that it usually gets detected after it spreads to other body organs.

3. The use of contraceptive pills may cause ovarian cancer.

Using contraceptive pills may reduce the occurrence of this kind of cancer as it reduces ovulation. Ovarian develops in women who have voluminous ovulations.

4. Women don’t need ovarian cancer screening when they are at low risk.

The detection of this cancer usually happens in its later stages. The more reason for women even who have low risk to go on annual check-up and get tested. In doing so, there is no loss at all, just some safety precautions.

5. Younger women are most likely not at risk of ovarian cancer.

Although women ages 55-60 are at higher risk of developing it, younger women can also be at risk. Especially to those who have a history of breast and colorectal cancer in the family.

6. Getting detected with ovarian cancer means dying.

Advance medicine can help defeat this cancer through surgery and chemotherapy. According to some studies, 95% of women detected earlier were cured. For those who have been detected after it already spread, there is still an 80% chance of controlling cancer to prolong one’s life.

7. A woman cannot have a baby after ovarian cancer remission.

The usual medical procedure is to undergo surgery and chemotherapy. You may still have a chance to get pregnant naturally or go through IVF (in vitro fertilization). As long as the other set of ovary and uterus have been preserved.

8. Miscarriage may happen when detected with ovarian cysts during pregnancy.

Masses found during pregnancy are usually harmless and would not affect the fetus.  There is only about a 5% probability that it can be malignant.  Continuous monitoring would help keep you and your baby in good condition.

9. Ultrasound or CA-125 blood testing is an effective ovarian cancer screening test.

The reliable procedures to detect ovarian in its early stage is still in its developmental stage.

Medical experts cannot completely understand the effectiveness of CA-125 antigen detection. They look forward to furthering the research to understand its effectiveness.

Even if more research has to be made, there is no harm done to your body by drawing out blood to have a test; or to have an ultrasound to detect abnormalities in your ovaries.

10. Hysterectomy ensures ovarian cancer would not go back.

Removing the uterus or cervix does not assure that it would not occur. Total hysterectomy only lessens the risk of ovarian cancer.

11. A woman should undergo surgery upon the detection of ovarian cancer.

Not necessarily as 20% of patients do not undergo surgery. Discuss options with your doctor.

12. Alternative treatment is better than hospital remedies.

No guaranteed cure can eradicate ovarian or any other cancer. It depends upon the person’s decision to believe or have faith in treatment.

Some choose to undergo chemotherapy and surgery. Some want to try alternative treatment. A woman can choose whatever makes her comfortable.  After all, it is her body receiving the treatment.

New research discoveries come out to cure ovarian cancer — options like gene therapy, immunotherapy, biological therapy, and further chemotherapy treatment.

It requires time to really improve the treatment of ovarian, but there is hope.

The U.S. Congress recently approved the $35-million 2020 budget specifically for ovarian cancer research funding.

Have a tip we should know? tips@rhd.news

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