Ovarian Cancer: Genetics, Diagnosis and Treatment

Ovarian cancer is sometimes known as the silent killer. Because the symptoms can be vague, less than 20% of women are diagnosed early.

Ovarian cancer is an abnormality on the cells on the surface of the ovary. There are several different types, and after they develop on the surface of the ovary, they can spread to other areas in the abdomen. It normally develops in older women who have already gone through menopause, although women of all ages could have it.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague, which is why it’s important for you primary care physician to be aware and on the lookout for them during your annual exam. Less than 20% of women are diagnosed early, which is why survival rates are much lower than other cancers that affect women.

Symptoms:
-bloating
-distension
-gastrointestinal issues
-abdominal discomfort

In this video, Dr. Daniel Donato explains the types of ovarian cancer, symptoms to look for, testing methods and what happens after diagnosis.

Genetics can play a role in ovarian and breast cancer, and a genetic predisposition is something that doctors worry about when a younger woman in her 30s or 40s is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The genetic linkage occurs on the BRC gene. In families that have a high-risk, doctors will screen the first known person in the family that had the cancer to see if they are a carrier of the gene. If that test is positive, then it would be recommended that all of the females in the family be tested also.

Once that genetic trait is discovered, there is about a 50% chance that the offspring will also have the gene, which for a young women gives them about an 80% chance of developing breast cancer.

In this video, Dr. Donato explains how doctors test for the BRC gene, and what a woman with a high-risk can do for prevention.

For more information about ovarian cancer and prevention, please visit http://www.rosemed.com/conditions_we_treat/cancer_care/

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