Are you suffering from a constant abdominal pain, bloating or discomfort while expecting? Are you worried that your condition is worse than normal and have you made an appointment with your gynecologist to rule out major diseases? If the above sounds like you, there is a small chance that you may have ovarian cancer. But, before you panic, read our post and learn all about ovarian cancer during pregnancy and the effects.
What Is An Ovarian Cancer?
The ovaries are essential organs of female reproductive system. They produce eggs, along with the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are crucial for pregnancy. Ovarian cancer can affect your ability to have children in the future. Moreover, cancerous tumors can damage your ovaries and your ability to produce eggs.
Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer During Pregnancy:
Like most other forms of cancer, there aren’t many obvious symptoms during the early stages of cancer. However, with time, you will observe some distinguishable symptoms, like:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Consistent back pain
- Constipation and irregular bowel movement
- In some cases, upset stomach is also one of the symptoms
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal bloating and pain
You will notice that most of these ovarian cancer pregnancy symptoms are common signs of pregnancy. So, it is possible that you may not pay too much attention. Consult your doctor if these symptoms seem too severe.
Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer During Pregnancy:
There are many methods that your gynecologist can use to diagnose the presence of ovarian cancer while pregnant. Some of them include:
If your doctor suspects cancerous growth in your ovaries considering the symptoms, then he will ask you to undergo a Biopsy for the concerned tissue.
2. Ultrasound And MRI:
Your doctor will recommend you for an Ultrasound or imaging test like MRI to know the exact size of the tumor (1).
[ Read: Breast Cancer During Pregnancy ]
Treating Ovarian Cancer During Pregnancy:
If you contract ovarian cancer during pregnancy, don’t feel disheartened. There are several treatment options available that can easily remove the tumor without harming your baby.
The type of the treatment for ovarian cancer found during pregnancy depends on the following factors:
- Type of cancer
- Stage of pregnancy
- Stage of the cancer (2)
Some of the main treatment methods include:
If you are in the second and third trimester of your pregnancy, then there is no harm in opting for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will not harm your baby, and there will be no congenital defects in your developing fetus.
Before going for a radiation treatment, check with your doctor and consider the advancement of your pregnancy. In the early months, radiotherapy can harm your baby, and your little one is at a high risk of developing birth defects.
Surgery is also an alternative for ovarian cancer treatment. However, you can undergo a surgical treatment even after your delivery. It will depend on which trimester you are in? Also, how advanced is cancer, i.e. how much it has spread over your body?
Malignant cancerous growth during pregnancy is a complicated situation to deal with, both for you and your gynecologist.
Can Ovarian Cancer Affect Your Baby?
As a pregnant woman who has cancer, you can give birth to a healthy baby. Cancer hardly affects the fetus directly. But, you need to be extra cautious and consult your gynecologist. Ovarian cancer in pregnancy may lead to some of the following effects.
In later stages of pregnancy, your placenta creates a barrier between the baby and your body and does not allow chemotherapy drugs to pass through and leaves the baby unaffected.
Chemotherapy treatment causes anemia and malnutrition, which can pose a threat to your developing baby.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Anemia During Pregnancy ]
Did you suffer from ovarian cancer during pregnancy? What precautions did you take? What treatment did your doctor suggest? Did you undergo radiotherapy or sign up for endless chemotherapy sessions? Share your story on ovarian cancer and pregnancy with other mommies-to-be. Leave your comments below.
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