Almost 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer each year in the United States. Anne O. Rodriguez, MD, uses her expert surgical skills to help women in Lompoc, Ventura, and Santa Barbara, California, overcome ovarian cancer and experience a successful treatment. Call Gynecologic Oncology Specialists or book a one-on-one consultation online to learn about your treatment options for ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer begins in the two almond-sized organs that sit on either side of the uterus – the ovaries. The ovaries are responsible for producing a woman’s eggs and the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Ovarian cancer is sneaky because it doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages. It can spread to areas of the pelvis and abdomen and then becomes more difficult to treat.
But, when caught early, ovarian cancer is likely resolved with surgery and chemotherapy.
Rarely will you experience symptoms of ovarian cancer in its early stages. As the cancer progresses, you may experience:
These symptoms are nonspecific, however, and can be mistaken for other conditions. If the symptoms worry you, however, consult Dr. Rodriguez at Gynecologic Oncology Specialists. This is especially true if you have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.
You’re at greater risk of ovarian cancer as you age. It’s most common in women aged 50-60 years. A family history of ovarian cancer also puts you at greater risk. Large doses and long-term use of estrogen hormone replacement therapy may increase risk, too. Age when you started menstruation, particularly very early or late-starting menopause may also contribute to your risk.
Dr. Rodriguez may recommend a surgical biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Once confirmed, she determines the extent to which the cancer has spread. If the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, you may need surgery and chemotherapy.
For early-stage ovarian cancer in just one ovary, Dr. Rodriguez removes the affected ovary and its fallopian tube. In this case, you may still be able to have children.
Cancer present in both ovaries requires removal of the two along with the fallopian tubes. Because your uterus is left intact, you may still be able to have children using frozen embryos or donor eggs.
More extensive cancers may require removal of the uterus, nearby lymph nodes, and some of the omentum, fatty abdominal tissue. Dr. Rodriguez customizes treatment according to how your cancer has progressed.
To find out more about your ovarian cancer treatment options, call Gynecologic Oncology Specialists or book an appointment online.