Two ovaries are located within the pelvic cavity, one on each side of the uterus and connected to the fallopian tubes. Ovaries are part of the female reproductive system which produce an egg each month (called ovulation) during women’s childbearing years. The sex-cord stromal cells within the ovaries are responsible for production of two types of female hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
The causes of ovarian cancer are still unclear, some factors can make women more susceptible, such as:
Aged above 45
Having never given birth or infertility
5-10% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by an inherited faulty gene that can be passed on from parents to child. You may be at increased risk for ovarian cancer, if your family (your mother’s or father’s) have two or more female relatives with ovarian cancer. You may also in a higher risk group if you have:
A family history of inherited breast cancer or ovarian cancer
A family history of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
Symptoms of early ovarian cancer are not always easy to spot. They can be vague and only present in some of the ovarian cancer cases:
Pressure, discomfort or pain in abdomen
Persistent and worsening gastro-intestinal discomfort, e.g. burning and nauseating sensations, bloating
Change in bowel movements, either constipation or diarrhea
Frequent need to urinate
Fatigue, lack of appetite
Unintended weight loss or gain
Change in the menstruation cycle, bleeding in between cycles or after menopause
Pain during sexual intercourse
The above symptoms are common to many health conditions other than ovarian cancer. Some of the ovarian cancer patients do not show the above symptoms too. If any of these symptoms present, please consult your doctor immediately.
Reduce your risks
Get checked by a doctor if relevant symptoms emerge
For more cancer-related information and support, please visit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund website or contact Hong Kong Cancer Fund free enquiry hotline: (852) 3656 0800
Source: Hong Kong Cancer Fund
The information on this page is for reference only. It is not intended to constitute a recommendation, and it is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. You should not act on any information on this page without seeking specific professional advice.