Ovarian cancer: symptoms, treatment and awareness
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Prevention and early detection


 - Prevention and early detection
© Polka Dot
Ovarian cancer appears in the tissue around the ovary or in the reproductive cells within the ovaries. 

It is thought that estrogen and the cell repair process that takes place when the ovary produces an egg could play a role. 

The more eggs the ovaries produce, the more repair work needs to be done and the greater the chances of repair cells malfunctioning. 

There is growing evidence that the times when the ovaries are inactive e.g. when taking the combined pill, may give protection from ovarian cancer.   Similarly, having children and breastfeeding – which suspends ovulation for extended periods – can reduce your risk.

‘Women who don’t have ovulatory cycles, either because they are suppressed via the pill or through multiple pregnancies, seem to have some protection from ovarian cancer,’ said Ledermann.

Ultimately, education is the key to both prevention and early detection.

‘There is a public perception of ovarian cancer as a ‘silent killer’ – that nothing can be done,’ Ledermann said. ‘This perception is wrong.  If women were more aware of symptoms, they would be more likely to raise them with their GP.  This would facilitate earlier testing through CA125 blood tests and ultrasound scanning, earlier stage diagnosis and more successful treatment.’

Della Lamden agrees. ‘More information would be helpful even though symptoms can be unspecific.  A common symptom is swelling and sensation of pressure – but if any unexplained symptoms persist it’s important to get your GP to investigate.’

Further information on ovarian cancer can be found at:


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