Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis - OBGYN Livingston, NJ
Best Practices for Managing Ovarian Cancer
While ovarian cancer is less common than breast cancer, it’s still a serious condition that no woman should ever take lightly. Regular, recommended gynecology office visits and learning more about the subject will assist in the treatment of any woman who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Types of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer forms from different cells in a woman’s ovaries, causing different types of the cancer. The lining cells of the ovary – known as the epithelium – are the most common to produce tumors. This results in epithelial ovarian cancer, stemming from the cells on the surface of the ovary. It also causes fallopian tube and primary peritoneal – the lining inside the abdomen – ovarian cancers.
Ovarian low malignant potential tumors have smaller-scale attributes of ovarian cancer, but usually do not spread the way cancer normally does. Other less common types of ovarian cancer derive from the actual ovary itself, including both germ cell tumors and sex cord-stromal tumors.
Women at Risk for Ovarian Cancer
When it comes to ovarian cancer, a woman’s genetics, menstrual cycle and other factors are known to put her at a higher risk. Any woman who falls into the following categories should be increasingly aware of, and get tested for, ovarian cancer:
- A woman who is between the ages of 50 to 60 years old – the period of time it is the most commonly seen.
- A woman who has an inherited gene mutation, consisting of breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1), breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2) or the gene mutations that cause Lynch syndrome.
- A woman who has undergone estrogen hormone replacement therapy.
- A woman who began menstruating before age 12.
- A woman who entered menopause after age 52.
- A woman who has undergone fertility treatment.
- A woman who has polycystic ovary syndrome.
Ovarian Cancer Testing in NJ
Multiple tests can be done to catch and diagnose ovarian cancer. We will usually begin with a pelvic examination, in which the outer parts of a woman’s genitals are inspected. A further physical examination of a woman’s ovaries and uterus will be done, followed by a scan for any visible abnormalities.If need be, the gynecologist will administer an image test – using a CT scan or ultrasound – of the abdomen and pelvis, which assist in revealing the shape and structure of a woman’s ovaries. A blood test can also be given, which is known to detect the protein that is typically found on ovarian cancer cells.
Lastly, surgery can be performed to remove a sample tissue and abdominal fluid to confirm a definite diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Diagnosis: Stages of Ovarian Cancer
If you have been tested and diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the surgery results will allow the doctor to see exactly what stage it is currently at. Stage one is found in one or both ovaries, and stage two is spread to other areas of the pelvis. Stage three occurs when the cancer has spread to the abdomen, and stage four is when the cancer is found outside of the abdomen.
Treatment for Ovarian Cancer in New Jersey
Treatment options will vary depending on what stage of ovarian cancer a woman has, and what she feels comfortable with. Surgery and chemotherapy are the two primary forms of treatment usually given to treat ovarian cancer, generally given simultaneously. Hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy are also paths worth considering, and many times, two or more of these treatments will be used.
Contact our office at 973-716-9600 today to get tested for ovarian cancer.