Live Long Lyndhurst logo. 
Sign up button for the Live Long Lyndhurst Health and Wellness Bulletin. 
Home
 
Influenza. Symptoms, Dangers, Treatments, Medicines and Prevention. Important Information You Should Know
 
Ovarian Cancer. Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Adult Immunization. Are Vaccines Safe? Why Do I Need Vaccines If I Feel Okay? How Do I Know What Vaccines I Need? Important Information You Should Know
 
How To Choose An Eye Care Specialist. Do You Need An Ophthalmologist? An Optometrist? Or an Optician? Important Information You Should Know
 
Men's Health: Lifestyle Tips for Men Over Age 50. Important Information You Should Know
 
Cystic Fibrosis. Description, Symptoms, Causes, Commonality, Diagnosis, Treatment and Outlook. Important Information You Should Know
 
Parkinson's Disease. Description, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Outlook. Important Information You Should Know
 
Aging And Your Eyes. Prevention, Common Problems, Disorders and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
What Should I Do If I'm Having A Heart Attack? Symptoms, Types and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Cervical Cancer. Prevention, Vaccine, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Seasonal Depression. Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention. Important Information You Should Know
 
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Symptoms, Causes, Lung Test and Diagnosis. Important Information You Should Know
 
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Prevention Recommendations and Healthy Awake Positions. Important Information You Should Know
 
Sickle Cell Disease. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Psoriasis. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Juvenile Arthritis. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Headaches in Adults. Types, Signs, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Signs, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Autism Signs, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Multiple Sclerosis. Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Heart Failure Overview. Types, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Glaucoma Overview. Signs, Testing, and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
HIV \ AIDS Overview. Signs, Testing, Prevention and Treatment. Important Information You Should Know
 
Diabetes Mellitus Overview Signs, Types, Testing, Prevention and Treatment Important Information You Should Know
 
Breast Cancer Overview Signs, Types, Stages, Testing, Prevention and Treatment Important Information You Should Know
 
Leukemia and Lymphoma Information You Should Know
 
Adult Immunization Important Information You Should Know
 
Sun Safety Important Information You Should Know
 
COVID-19 Coronavirus The Best Ways To Protect Yourself A Collaboration Between Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals
 
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Overview and Treatments Important Information You Should Know
 
Stroke Awareness, Prevention, Risk Factors, Effects, Signs and Symptoms Important Information You Should Know
 
Alcohol Awareness Important Information You Should Know
 
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) What You Need To Know
 
An Overview of Colorectal Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Stages Important Information You Should Know
 
Preventing and Reversing Cardiovascular Disease Important Information You Should Know
 
Thyroid Awareness Important Information You Should Know
 
Pro Martial Arts Opens in Lyndhurst, Ohio
News Archive
 
Newsletter Archive Health & Wellness Bulletin
 
Site Maps
In Partnership With:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Anthem. Visit this partner website.


Ovarian Cancer
Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Important Information You Should Know

Illustration showing a healthy ovary and an ovary with cancer.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor (abnormal growth of tissue) that develops in a woman's ovaries. (Ovaries are the reproductive organs that hold a woman's eggs.) Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death in women. Overall, it makes up about 3% of all cancers in women.

Older women are at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. The greatest number of cases occur in women who are over 60 years of age.

When it is found in its earliest stages, ovarian cancer can be cured 90-95% of the time. Unfortunately, early ovarian cancer is hard to detect, and there are no good screening tools. Many cases of ovarian cancer are found after the cancer has spread to other organs. In these cases, the cancer is much more difficult to treat and cure.

What Causes Ovarian Cancer?

The cause of ovarian cancer is not yet known. You have a higher risk of ovarian cancer if you have:

➜ A family history of ovarian cancer (others in your family have had the disease).

➜ An Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish background.

➜ Never been pregnant.

➜ Had breast, uterine, or colorectal cancer.

Women who have had children or who use oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are less likely to develop ovarian cancer. Women who use birth control pills for a longer period of time (at least 5 years) have the lowest risk.

What are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

In its early stages, ovarian cancer does not have many symptoms. The first sign of ovarian cancer is usually an enlarged (swollen) ovary. The ovaries are located deep within the pelvic cavity, so swelling may not be noticed until the later stages of the disease.

Symptoms of more advanced ovarian cancer include:

➜ Swollen abdomen/bloating (caused by build-up of fluids that the tumor produces).

➜ Lower abdominal and leg pain.

➜ Sudden weight loss or gain.

➜ Change in bathroom habits/routine.

➜ Nausea/indigestion.

➜ Swelling in the legs.

➜ Unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina.

How is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?

A number of tests are used to diagnose ovarian cancer. These tests are usually done after a health care provider feels an enlarged ovary during a pelvic exam. At this point, the woman may need:

Blood Tests - Blood tests look for a substance called CA-125. High levels of CA-125 in the blood can be a sign of cancer. However, CA-125 levels can be normal, even when cancer is present, and higher in many conditions that are not cancer. For this reason, blood tests are not used to screen for ovarian cancer.

Pelvic Ultrasound - Ultrasound is used to get an electronic image of the ovaries. This image may show an enlarged ovary. The ultrasound will also show growths that are not cancer. For this reason, other tests may also be ordered.

Laparoscopy - When there's good reason to suspect ovarian cancer, a type of surgery called laparoscopy may be performed. A thin viewing tube (laparoscope) is placed through a small cut (incision) made in the abdomen. Using the scope as a guide, the surgeon takes a sample of fluid and tissue from the growth. These samples are then tested for cancer.

Laparotomy - In this procedure, the doctor opens the abdomen using a larger cut and looks at the ovaries. If cancer is found, the doctor will remove one or both ovaries and as much of the tumor as possible.

How is Ovarian Cancer Treated?

The main types of treatment for ovarian cancer are surgery to remove the diseased tissue and chemotherapy (medicines to kill the cancer cells).

During surgery (called an oophorectomy), one or both of the ovaries are removed. When the cancer has spread or is likely to spread, a total abdominal hysterectomy may be performed to remove both ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the uterus, and nearby lymph glands. In young women who still want to have children, only the diseased ovary may be removed. The remaining ovary is then watched closely for signs of cancer.

Chemotherapy may be used after surgery to prevent the cancer from spreading. The drugs paclitaxel (TaxolTM) and cisplatin (PlatinolTM) are commonly used to treat ovarian cancer. Radiation (X-ray treatment) may also be used occasionally.

How can I protect myself from ovarian cancer?

It's difficult for a woman to protect herself from ovarian cancer. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your risk:

➜ See your health care provider regularly.

➜ Report any irregular vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain to your doctor.

➜ If you have close family members (mother, sister, or daughter) with ovarian cancer, discuss your risk factors with your health care provider. For those who are very high risk based on family history, genetic testing may be offered.

➜ Eat a healthy diet.

Where can I learn more?

For more information, call:

National Cancer Institute Information Contact Center:
+1 (800) 422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER)

American Cancer Society:
+1 (800) 227-2345


© Copyright 1995-2022 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 ☎ or toll-free (800) 223-2273 ☎ extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/ or http://www.clevelandclinic florida.org.

Healthy Community Initiative (HCI):
#HealthyCommunitiesInitiative

The Healthy Community Initiative is a collaborative effort between Cleveland Clinic and community partners to promote optimal health and wellness. Based on the community health needs assessment and utilizing combined resources within our local communities, Healthy Community Initiative programs will be customized around three core areas: education, nutrition and physical activity.

Live Long Lyndhurst Health and Wellness Initiative (HWI):
#LiveLongLyndhurst

Live Long Lyndhurst is a Health and Wellness Initiative between the City of Lyndhurst, Cleveland Clinic Community Outreach, Legacy Village, Cleveland Metroparks at Acacia, The Fedeli Group, the YMCA, South Euclid - Lyndhurst Schools, Second Sole and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield.

Related:

➤ Hillcrest Family YMCA

➤ Legacy Village

➤ Live Long Lyndhurst

➤ South Euclid - Lyndhurst Schools




In Partnership With:
 

    

    

    


 

    

    

    

    
Anthem. Visit this partner website.