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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...
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...
Highlights Ovarian Cancer Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women, and the fifth leading cause of female cancer death. Detection of ovarian cancer while it is in its early stages significantly improves prognosis. Unfortunately, most cases of ovarian cancer are discovered when the cancer is already advanced. Symptoms 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. If you have the following symptoms on a daily basis for more than a few weeks, you should see your doctor (preferably a gynecologist): Bloating Pelvic or abdominal pain Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer The main risk factors of ovarian cancer are: Older age Family history of ovarian, breast, or hereditary colorectal cancer BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations Obesity Hormone replacement therapy use for 5 or more years Not having had children Pre...
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