In India, cancer of the Ovary constitutes nearly 7 percent of all female-cancers. A large part of the Ovarian Cancer can be prevented, no doubt. So let us discuss how to protect ourselves from this silent cancer.
Types of Ovarian Cancers:
1) Epithelial Tumours- about 90 percent
2) Stromal Tumours- about 7 percent
3) Germ cell Tumours- very little
It is important to note that we can prevent only the ovarian cancers of epithelial origin.
Signs and Symptoms:
1) Pain in the abdomen and pelvis.
2) Bloating and pressure in the abdomen.
3) Urination frequently.
4) Abdominal fullness after eating even small quantity of foods.
5) Swelling of abdomen
6) Abnormal bleeding per vagina.
Other symptoms are:
4) Pain in the back
5) Irregularities in menstruation
7) Pain during intercourse
These symptoms may occur in some other diseases also. So, if the symptoms persist, you are to contact with your house-physicians.
Risks of having Ovarian Cancer:
If you be aware of the risks of getting Ovarian Cancer, then you can take decisions of what to do and how you and your family members can protect yourselves from Cancer of Ovary. The risks are as follows:
1) A family history of Cancer of Ovary or Breast.
2) A personal history of Breast, Uterus and Colon Cancer.
3) If you have mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (in this case the risk of Ovarian Cancer is 6 times more than that of general population).
5) Use of fertility drugs.
6) Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
8) No history of pregnancy.
9) Using talcum powder between the thighs and genitalia.
11) Older Age
How to lower your Risk of Ovarian Cancer:
1) Giving birth to a baby will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.
2) If you have gone for tubal ligation, then you have lowered the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer.
3) Longer a woman is taking the birth control pills, more she is protected against the Cancer of Ovary almost upto 30-60 percent. Nevertheless it should be kept in mind the other side also that birth control pills may slightly increase the risk of Breast Cancer.
4) Breast feeding to baby lowers the risk.
5) If a woman is genetically in high risk of getting Ovarian Cancer, then preventive surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes may be considered. This surgery is known as salpingo-oophorectomy. If the woman is post-menopausal, then this surgery will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 85-90 percent.
Other modes of Prevention:
Exercise in the forms of walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, cycling, domestic works etc. will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.
B) Foods which can prevent Ovarian Cancer:
1) Endive: It can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by about 75 percent, it contains anticancer agent known as Kaempferol (also found in Spinach, Kale, Broccoli). Kaemferol is also an anti-angiogenic agent.
2) Onion: Contains anticancer agent like apigenin, anthocyanin, myricetin, quercetin. Red onions are 60 percent more anti-cancerous than yellow or white onions. Take raw onions, because boiling will reduce the anticancer property by 30 percent.
3) Tomato: Contains anticancer agent Lycopene which can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 60 percent.
4) Fish: Contains anticancer agent Omega-3 fatty acids which can lower the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 30 percent.
5) Low fat consumption.
6) High fibre diet.
7) Reduce meat and alcohol consumption.
8) Other fruits and vegetables having antioxidants.
Ovarian Cancer is usually a cancer of the older women and is more common in women of Western Countries than Indian women. Still Ovarian Cancer is slightly on the rise in India. So, we should follow all the preventive measures immediately to combat this cancer.