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What are ovarian cysts? Cysts are fluid filled sacs which can develop anywhere on the body. There are several different types of ovarian cysts:
Functional cyst - These form during the normal menstrual cycle. A sac containing eggs forms and usually breaks open to release the egg and the sac dissolves. Sometimes, the sac doesn’t break open and continues to grow, this is called a follicular cyst. It usually disappears in 30 to 90 days. Another type of functional cyst is called corpus luteum and it is when the sac doesn’t dissolve right away. This usually disappears on its own in a few weeks.
Endometriomas - This type of cyst can develop in women who have endometriosis . Tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and if it attaches to the ovary it can cause an cyst.
Cystadenomas - This type of cyst forms from the outer cells of the ovary.
Dermoid cysts - Cells in the ovary which develop hair, teeth or other tissue during pregnancy can become part of an ovari...
Symptoms Ovarian cancer used to be considered a "silent killer." Symptoms were thought to appear only when the cancer was in an advanced stage. Now, doctors believe that even early-stage ovarian cancer can produce symptoms. See your doctor if you have the following symptoms on a daily basis for more than a few weeks: Bloating Pelvic or abdominal pain Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly Ovarian cancer grows quickly and can progress from early to advanced stages within a year. Paying attention to symptoms can help improve a woman's chances of being diagnosed and treated promptly. Detecting cancer while it is still in its earliest stages may help improve prognosis. It should be understood, however, that these symptoms commonly occur and are not overly specific for ovarian cancer. While prompt follow-up with your doctor is important when one or more of these are present, there are many other explanations for these symptoms besides ovarian cancer. Other symptoms are also sometimes associated...
Diagnosis Up to 95% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will survive longer than 5 years if their cancers are treated before they have spread beyond the ovaries. Unfortunately, there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer that are comparable to mammography for early detection of breast cancer. Therefore, only about 25% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at such early stages. It is possible to perform genetic screening in high-risk women, but this raises some complex issues. Annual Gynecologic Checkup Every woman should have a regular annual examination with her doctor that includes: Pelvic examination . Routine pelvic exams are a reasonable precaution, although they are not a perfect screening method. This exam is performed in two ways. The doctor inserts two fingers into the vagina while feeling the abdomen with the other hand. The doctor also performs a bimanual rectovaginal exam, which involves the insertion of one finger into the vagina and another into the rectum. Both exams e...
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