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All about Ovarian Cancer

What are the ovaries?

The ovaries produce the hormones oestrogen and progesterone and make eggs to enable you to become pregnant. Every woman has two ovaries.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer symptoms can include:

  • Bloating

  • Lack of appetite

  • Feeling full quickly

  • Needing to urinate more often

  • Changes to your usual bowel habits

  • Indigestion

  • Back pain

  • Feeling more tired than usual

  • Post-menopausal bleeding

It is important to note that these can also be symptoms of benign conditions but it is best to get seen by a professional if you are experiencing any of the above to find and treat the cause.

What are the causes or ovarian cancer?

The risk of getting ovarian cancer increases if you:

  • Have had breast cancer or bowel cancer

  • Have had radiotherapy treatment

  • Have diabetes

  • Are taking HRT

  • Have a faulty gene such as the BRCA gene

  • The older you are. It is more common in women over 65.

  • If you smoke

  • If you are overweight

  • If you have never taken hormonal contraception

  • If you started your periods early or went through menopause late

  • If you have not had a baby

Can I prevent ovarian cancer?

You may reduce your risk by loosing weight, stop smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You may also choose to have your ovaries removed or use hormonal contraception if you have a family history of ovarian cancer.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

You may have the following tests to diagnose ovarian cancer:

  • Blood tests to check your blood cell count

  • Ultrasound scan to look at the appearance of your ovaries

  • Laparoscopy, a small tube with a camera inserted through a small incision in your abdomen to look at your ovaries.

  • CT scan to see the size and location of the cancer and if it has spread.

Treatment for ovarian cancer

If you have been told you have ovarian cancer, you may require further tests to determine the grading and stage of the cancer. Your treatment plan will depend on the size of your cancer.

If the cancer is in the early stages and contained within your ovaries, you may have surgery to remove both ovaries and fallopian tubes, or surgery to remove your uterus and cervix. If the cancer has spread you may require further surgery.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy

If you have cancer you will be put under the care of an Oncologist team. Chemotherapy uses medicine to destroy cancer cells and radiotherapy uses radiation to destroy the cells.

Visit Cancer Research UK for more information

How do I book a consultation?

You can book a consultation with Evi Bakali via her secretary or direct with Spire Healthcare.

Appointments are available via private medical insurance or paying for yourself. Click here for the most up to date self funding fees and for private medical insurance information.

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