Ovarian Cancer | Cancer in the Ovaries - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Sunita Sayammagaru
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Sep 26, 2017
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Whom should a patient consult for ovarian cancer?

The patient should first consult their obstetrician / gynecologist if she is worried about ovarian cancer. The doctor might refer the patient to a gynecologic oncologist who is an obstetrician/gynecologist who is specially trained in treating cancers of the female reproductive system.

2. Can a woman with a previous breast cancer develop ovarian cancer?

Yes, there is a possibility that a woman with a previous breast cancer can develop ovarian cancer. This is because the risk factors for breast cancer and ovarian cancer are similar. This risk is greatest in women with a family history of breast cancer.

3. Why is ovarian cancer usually diagnosed late?

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are non-specific and can be caused by other conditions like irritable bowel disease, fibroids, inflammatory bowel disorder, urinary infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and cancers of other organs. Hence, by the time the symptoms are taken seriously and investigated, the cancer would have spread.

4. What are the 5 year survival rates for ovarian cancer?

5 year survival rate denotes the percentage of patients alive at 5 years after being diagnosed with a disease. The overall 5 year survival rate for all types of ovarian cancer is 45%, for stage -1 ovarian cancer the 5 year survival rate is 92 %, but only 15% of cancers are detected at this stage. Hence, the sooner the cancer is detected, the better the prognosis.

5. My CA-125 is elevated, do I have ovarian cancer?

It is difficult to interpret elevated CA 125 without additional information or tests. In a symptomatic patient, elevated CA 125 and presence of pelvic mass on imaging studies point towards a high probability of ovarian cancer. On the other hand, isolated CA-125 elevation is also seen in younger women with irritable bowel disease, appendicitis, liver disease, gastrointestinal disease, pregnancy, diverticulitis or pancreatitis.

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my mother now at age of 62 is diagnosed for ovarian cyst of abt 8 cm length. She has all other reports normal, than this in USG report. How should I take it forward?

Dear Doctor,

I have an ovarian cyst in the right side which is 3.8cm and my doctor could not tell me clearly what to do. Can you please tell me if it is serious and should I be operated upon?

post surgery for fallopion tube cancerin dec2007my mother inlaw had chemo and had it come again within three months had another round of chemo has been stable since last may2008 now experiensing IBMpain in abdomen fullness ,depression fatigue,bloating,constipation.whats happening.how do i help .help me please.

Dear Trigger,

Pl. check with the doctor why they are not giving her some chemotherapy before the surgery , which kills some of the cancerous cells & prevents its spreading during surgery.

One of the effective treatment schedules is chemotherapy - surgery - chemotherapy (again).



My wife has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is to go for surgery this week. She has a cyst the size of two softballs streching from hip to hip. I am trying to learn what I can about this to help her in any way I can. Since this is known as the silent killer for women over 45, you should make sure your doctor checks you for this to. She would not have even known about it without the catscan of with and without conrtrast. If anyone has info on this, please post so I can learn more about this. Thank you.

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