Genetic factors

There is an important part played by the family history as far as the risk of developing the cancer is concerned. The lifetime risk in the general population has been estimated to 1. 6 percent. The risk is estimated to 4-5 percent if a first-degree relative is affected, going up to 7 percent when there are two relatives affected. Additionally a family history of breast cancer adds to the risk of ovarian cancer. In family where there are multiple cases of ovarian cancer (solely or in association with other growths), such a family is regarded as having hereditary ovarian cancer.

Less that 5 percent of all cases of the cancer have a hereditary tendency (Jasen, P. 492). There are at least two syndromes that are described: Breast/ovarian cancer syndrome and Lynch II syndrome. The first kind of syndrome of linked to early commencement of breast or ovarian cancer. This could be inherited from a parent. Most of them are associated with BRCA1 gene mutation. The second syndrome occurs in families that have a higher risk of ovarian cancer as well as cancer affecting other organs such as the stomach, breast, bowel, pancreas, etc.

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the syndrome is mostly as a result of mutations in the disparity repair genes (Werner-Lin, P. 336). Symptoms As early mentioned, symptoms of ovarian cancer are either has minimal, non-specific or no symptoms. This cancer is referred to as a ‘silent killer’ since the symptoms are suppressed until the disease is at its advanced stage. Nevertheless, there are some symptoms that are common with women having ovarian cancer.

They include: bloating; pelvic or abdominal pains; heavy feeling in the pelvis; weight gain or loss; pains in the back or the legs; eating difficulties, or loss of appetite; diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and nausea; urinary problems, either urgent or frequent; Change in bowel habits; pain during sexual intercourse; irregular virginal bleeding; abnormal periods; and trouble breathing (Friedman, Skilling, Udaltsova, and Smith, P. 550). Patients report that the signs and symptoms are unrelenting and characterize a change from usual in their bodies.

The frequency of the signs and symptoms are the key to the diagnosis of the cancer. A probability case-control research of 1,709 women receiving treatment discovered that the combination of increase in the size of the abdomen, bloating, and urinary problems was evident in 43 percent of the patients, and in only 8 percent of the women presenting to basic care clinics (Garcia and Ahmed, para 7). Treatments There are three main kinds of treatment available of women with ovarian cancer. One of the kinds is surgery where the cancerous tissues are removed from the ovary.

However, most of the people suffering from this cancer undergo surgery along with another form of treatment like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the other two forms of treatment for ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy is aimed at destroying cancer cells through the use of strong anti-cancer medications. Radiotherapy destroys the cells through exposure to high-energy radiation (Henderson, Ponder, and Ross, P 54). Works cited: Friedmana, Gary D. , Skilling, Jeffrey S. , Udaltsova, Natalia V. and Smith, Lloyd H. Early symptoms of ovarian cancer: a case–control study without recall bias, Family Practice 22(5): 2005.

Garcia, Agustin A. & Ahmed, Samina. Ovarian Cancer, 2010. Viewed on July 30, 2010 from http://emedicine. medscape. com/article/255771-overview Henderson, Brian E. , Ponder, Bruce, & Ross, Ronald K. Hormones, Genes and Cancer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Jasen, Patricia. From the “silent Killer” to the “whispering Disease”: Ovarian Cancer and the Uses of Metaphor, Medical History. Volume: 53. Issue: 4. 2009. Werner-Lin, Allison V. Danger Zones: Risk Perceptions of Young Women from Families with Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Family Process Volume: 46. Issue: 3, 2007.

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