Ovarian Cancer

Illustration of the anatomy of the female pelvic area
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The doctors at INTEGRIS are widely considered some of the best at treating cancer in Oklahoma. Our team brings decades of experience diagnosing and treating every type of cancer. We serve the entire state from our hospital locations in Oklahoma City, Yukon, Edmond, Enid, and Miami.

The INTEGRIS team is committed to providing the best care for its patients with ovarian cancer. We believe this starts with education about the disease, its symptoms, and treatment.

The ovaries are female reproductive organs that produce eggs as well as the hormones that regulate many aspects of female physiology, such as the menstrual cycle. A diagnosis of ovarian cancer means cells of a woman’s ovaries have begun to develop malignant tumors, which may or may not have spread to other areas of her body. Some ovarian tumors are benign, which means they are not in danger of spreading to other areas of the body and can be removed with surgery.

The three types of ovarian cancer are named after the three types of cells from which they initiate. Ovarian cancer can begin in epithelial cells, which cover the surface of the ovaries, in which case it is called epithelial ovarian cancer.

Cancer may also begin in germ cells, which form the eggs in the ovary, and is called germ cell ovarian cancer. If the tumors begin in stromal cells, which comprise the tissue of the ovaries as well as produce estrogen and progesterone, it is called stromal cell ovarian cancer.

Two types of extra-ovarian cancer are also possible. Though they aren’t cancer of ovarian tissue, their treatment is much the same as ovarian cancer. Extra-ovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma (EOPPC) is cancer of the lining of the abdominal walls. Fallopian tube carcinomas are cancer of the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries and uterus.

Ovarian cancer may be more difficult to detect because it rarely causes symptoms until after cancerous cells have spread beyond the ovaries. Symptoms may also be vague. However, here is a list of the most common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer:

  • Discomfort of the lower abdominal and back area, including
    •  Indigestion, heartburn, bloating, nausea or gas
    • Loss of appetite or weight
    • Backache
    • Diarrhea, constipation, or frequent or painful urination
  • Pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, or unusual cramping
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Fatigue

These symptoms may not be indicators of ovarian cancer, but could be signs of other medical concerns. Be sure to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Each woman's treatment program is specific to her. Upon diagnosis, a plan is mapped out, taking into consideration the individual’s age, overall health and health history, the type of ovarian cancer, how much the cancer has advanced, predicted course of the disease, tolerance for available procedures and medications, as well as the woman's preferences and opinions.

Patients with ovarian cancer are assigned a gynecologic oncologist, a specialist in cancer of the female reproductive system. Treatment may include surgery to remove all or parts of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, or lymph nodes in surrounding areas. Chemotherapy with powerful anticancer drugs might also be used, as well as radiation, though this is less common.

For more information on ovarian cancer visit our health library. If you have concerns about cancer please request a consultation with your primary care physician, or contact the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.

© 2017 INTEGRIS Health Pencil
Oklahoma's largest hospital network
3300 N.W. Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73112 Phone: (405) 951-2277
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