Ovarian cancer is a cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system which are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries have two functions: they produce eggs and the female hormones. Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas or malignant germ cell tumors. Approximately 1 in every 69 women in the United States will develop this type of cancer during their lifetime. Most cases occur in women over the age of 50 and this disease can also affect younger women.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Following are some Signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Pain with intercourse
- Abdominal swelling and bloating
- Urinary frequency
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling full after eating little
- Gas and/or diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormalities in menstruation, pubertal development, and abnormal hair growth
Ovarian Cancer Prognosis/Life Expectancy
According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the average life expectancy for patients with last stage ovarian cancer is 2.95 years. The study is based on the projected 5-year survival rates. The average survival rate is 1.97 years in patients aged 54 who were diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. Patients diagnosed with Stage I, II or III whose disease progressed to Stage IV had an additional 1 year added on to the average life expectancy because the progress from Stage I to Stage IV was assumed to take, on average, 1 year.
Listed below are some clinical trials investigating new treatments for Ovarian Cancer.
- Paclitaxel and Carboplatin or Ifosfamide in Treating Patients With Newly Diagnosed Persistent or Recurrent Uterine or Ovarian Cancer
- Pemetrexed and Carboplatin in Recurrent Platinum Sensitive Ovarian Cancer
- Autologous T Cells With or Without Cyclophosphamide and Fludarabine in Treating Patients With Recurrent or Persistent Advanced Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Primary Peritoneal Cavity Cancer or Fallopian Tube Cancer (Fludarabine Treatment Closed as of 12/01/2009)
- Paclitaxel in Treating Patients With Ovarian Stromal Cancer