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Ovarian Cancer- Understand Your Cancer to Better Defend Your Health

By HERWriter
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If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you and your health care team can begin the process of fighting your disease. Be your own best advocate by understanding what ovarian cancer is, what options you have for treatment, and what side effects you can expect. This knowledge will help you work with your doctors to make the best decisions about your treatment.

This knowledge will help you work with your doctors to make the best decisions about your treatment.

What is ovarian cancer?

Cancer is a disease that causes cells to grow out of control and form tumors. Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries.

ovarian cancer

Each type of tumor can affect how your ovarian cancer is treated, so it is important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for your specific type of ovarian cancer.

Stages of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is categorized into four stages. Stage one is the least invasive, while stage four is the most serious. Each cancer stage is determined based on where cancer cells are found. The stages of ovarian cancer are:

  • Stage one – Cancer cells are found only in one or both ovaries.
  • Stage two – Cancer cells are in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes and have spread to other organs (such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder, the sigmoid colon, or the rectum) within the pelvis.
  • Stage three – Cancer cells have spread into the abdomen outside of the pelvic area. Cancer may be found in the lymph nodes in the abdomen. Tumors larger than 3⁄4 inch may be visible growing on the lining of the abdomen.
  • Stage four –Cancer cells have metastasized (spread) into other organs in the body outside of the abdomen such as the liver or lungs. This cancer is still known as ovarian cancer because the cancerous cells started in the ovaries.

How is ovarian cancer treated?

Your doctor will use all the information available about your cancer to develop an effective treatment plan for you. Because every person’s experience with cancer is unique, your treatment plan will be specifically customized for you. 

Your physician can also use genetic tests to classify ovarian cancer and help determine what treatment could work best for you. The results of those tests, which are like a map of one’s genes, can help determine the surgical and chemotherapeutic options that could be most successful in fighting the kind of cancer you have.

The primary treatment options for ovarian cancer are:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Ovarian Cancer

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