3.1. 100 Questions & Answers about Ovarian Cancer Second edition (Published on October 25, 2006)
 By Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, Nadeem R. Abu-Rustum, MD

From this book, it states that there are risk factors that affect Ovarian Cancer, Which is whether the women has reached her stage of menopause and whether Breast and Ovarian Cancer runs in her family. (Approximately 10% of Ovarian Cancers are truly related to heredity; the vast majority (90%) of Ovarian Cancers happen because of random mutations, otherwise known as sporadic mutations. Pg 15)

The book also states that Fertility drug intake was accused of contributing to the risk of getting Ovarian Cancer, but there is no definite evidence to prove it. (pg 119)

The book also states that patients should avoid refined sugar and white flour during cancer treatment, as it contributes to cancer. (pg 70)

Other than these, there is no other information about how dietary needs and lifestyle can affect the risk of Ovarian Cancer in the book.

3.2 Twelve Steps to a Healthier Life - Reduce Your Cancer Risk

As this book states, women can take cancer-prevention pills in their daily diet, it can only prevent, but the ovarian cancer might still occur. This types of medication might carry side effects and might affect your lifestyles and health. The other alternative is to consider lifestyle changes as an appropriate way of reducing the risk of cancer. This can be accomplished by eating a healthy diet, maintaing proper weight  and regularly exercising, basically, leading a healthy lifestyle.

To attain a diet that helps reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer, it is advised to reduce the amount of red meat consumed and the amount of alcohol. Its best to have only a maximum of 1 glass of alcohol per day (for women). Tea also helps to protect against cancer because of the antioxidants it contains, not to only that, women should also eat more fruits and vegetable as antioxidant beta-carotene are found in them and they reduce the risk of cancer. By getting these nutrients: Folate, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Omega 3 from food also helps to reduce the risk of cancer, but high dosage of these supplements does not really seem to help. It was also said that soy may be able to help reduce the risk but it is not really tested and researched in depth.

Another way is to go for annual checkups, added as part of your lifestyle, and be updated on you health status. Try not to be stressed or anxious about your risk of getting cancer. If your stress is high and you actual risk of getting cancer is higher.

Another preventive way is to remove your ovaries permanently. Its a risky operation in prevention of Ovarian cancer but it reduces the risk by 90% and more. By going through this operation, your personal lifestyle will change, and you might not be able to bear kids. Another thing is that not only are there are side effects to the operation, there might be risk of complications and dying in the operation.

3.3.1 Medical Archives from Dr Ann Tan

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled, sac-like structures within an ovary. Most cysts are never noticed and resolve without women ever realizing that they are there. When a cyst causes symptoms, pain in the belly or pelvis is by far the most common one. Most cysts are diagnosed by ultrasound, which is the best imaging technique for detecting ovarian cysts.

Treatment for it can consist of simple observation, or it can include blood tests to help evaluate the cyst for the potential of cancer.
If the tumor is causing severe pain, not resolving or is suspicious in any way, then it can be removed by surgery. Once the cyst is removed, the growth is sent to a pathologist who examines the tissue under a microscope to make the final diagnosis as to the type of cyst present in case if the patient is diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

3.3.2 Medical Archives from Dr Ann Tan

The exact causes of breast cancer yet to be found. However, studies shown that the risk of breast cancer increases as a woman gets older. This disease is very uncommon in women under the age of 35. The risk of contraction breast cancer are especially high for women over age 60 and men oner the age f 50.

 Women can take part in early detection of breast cancer by having regularly scheduled screening mammograms and clinical breast exams.Women should also perform breast self-exams on a monthly basis after their menses. By doing this, women are able to detect breast cancer at a earlier age and that can get a proper treatment for it.

When performing breast self-exams check for this few symtoms:
If you detect any of these in a BSE, you should consult your doctor, so he can conduct a clinical breast examination (CBE). At your consultation, your relevant medical and family history will be reviewed. This will help your doctor determine if the change is normal, or if a second review or tests are necessary.
If found early enough, almost 95% of all cases of breast cancer can be cured. That's why the BSE is so important. ANYTHING you can do to help you find something early will greatly increase your chances of getting rid of the cancer.

Some Breast Cancer Symptoms: 

  • A lump that doesn’t go away, i.e. a persistent lump.
  • A change in size or shape of either breast.
  • Any unusual skin discoloration.
  • Any sores or scaly skin.
  • A puckering of the skin, which appears as many small dimples, like orange or lemon peel.
  • A retraction or sinking in of the nipple.
  • Any liquid discharge from the nipple.

Mammograms can often detect a breast lump before it can be felt. Although mammograms are the best way to find breast abnormalities early, they do have some limitations. A mammogram may miss some cancers that are present (false negative) or may find things that turn out not to be cancer (false positive).
Breast cancer may be treated with local or systemic therapy. Some patients have both kinds of treatment. When breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body, local therapy may be used to control cancer in those specific areas, such as in the lung or bone. Some patients have systemic therapy to shrink the tumor before local therapy. Others have systemic therapy to prevent the cancer from coming back, or to treat cancer that has spread.

3.4 We also searched online for health journals for more information.

Tittle: Screening for Ovarian Cancer

Authors:Cleola Anderiesz, PhD, Senior Project Officer1

Michael A Quinn, MGO, FRANZCOG, FRCOG, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; and Director of Oncology, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne

high-Risk groups
Groups at high risk for ovarian cancer include:
Women with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (two or more first-degree relatives and/or a relative with cancer before menopause) are a high-risk group who may carry a mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These women have a risk of ovarian malignancy of up to 50%.
Women with a strong family history of colon cancer (at least three affected family members in at least two successive generations, with one case below age 50 years) may be at increased risk for endometrial and ovarian malignancy because they carry a mismatch repair gene mutation. These women have a risk of up to 10% for ovarian cancer and 50% for endometrial cancer.
This article states that the risk of ovarian cancer can run in the family, increasing the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

3.5 Health journal #2- What causes Ovarian Cancer
The article states altering ovarian function does help to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Taking oral contraceptives or giving birth and breast feeding for just five years can cut ovarian cancer risk for the next 10 years by roughly 30 percent.
Also, the article states that regular intake of foods such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower can also cut down the risk of cancer as they are contain a large amount of sulforaphane. Limiting the amount of fat intake also help reduce the risk, from the research from the National Institutes of Health.

Maintaining a healthy weight also may reduce the risk as women withh a higher body mass index may have a higher risk.

Endometriosis, infertility, and early menstruation can all increase a woman's chances of developing ovarian cancer, as can a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

3.6 Blog For a Cure

Common symptoms of Ovarian Cancer includes:
1) Bloating
2) Weight Gain/Loss
3) Abdominal Pain
4) Tiredness
5) Nausea
6) Loss of appetite

As data collected from the blog, it was found that many of those who contacted this diseases only knew them at a later stage - Stage 3 or Stage 4. Most of them had their ovaries removed and they undergo chemotherapy to help recover. Occasionally  some of them had their second cancer after having Ovarian Cancer.

3.7 Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer (Website) 

High-risk families include those who have inherited a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. The mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. A child only needs to inherit one copy of the mutated gene to have an increased cancer risk. Children who have a parent with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the mutation.

If the person inherits the mutated gene does not mean that he/she will have cancer, as inheritance only increases the risk greatly. Out of every 100 women who inherit a mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, as many as 60 will develop breast cancer by age 50; by age 70, approximately 80 will develop breast cancer.

If the person indeed inherited the mutated gene, they can get both the breast and/or ovaries removed. The other alternative is that they can take medicine tamoxifen, which is believed to protect against breast cancer. (This medicine might have unwanted side effects when taken.)

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