Is your teenager girl complaining about stomach bloating or unbearable stomach cramps? Is she facing irregular menstrual cycles and irritation around the pelvic region? If you nodded along solemnly, you might want to read our post. It could be something innocuous as a stomach upset, but it could be something as serious as ovarian cancer. But, don’t panic yet! Read our post here and learn all about ovarian cancer in teens and how it affects.
What Is Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer attacks the ovaries of the body. A female body consists of two small almond-sized ovaries, which release eggs. The process of egg production ties in with the reproductive cycle. In most cases, ovarian cancer does not exhibit any detectable problems during the initial stages. If the cancer isn’t detected until the terminal stage, the chances of survival of the patient stand aren’t more than five years (1).
Types Of Ovarian Cancer:
Some types of ovarian cancer include:
- Epithelial Ovarian Cancer:
Most women suffer from epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The DNA changes trigger cancerous cells in the female body.
- Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer:
Cancerous cells develop in the reproductive cells of the ovary. Some of the common types of germ cell cancers include teratomas, embryonic carcinomas, yolk sac tumors, and mixed germ cell tumors. The type of ovarian cancer is most common among teenagers.
- Stromal Ovarian Cancer:
The cancerous cells develop from the supporting tissues of the ovary. Diagnosing a stromal tumor is easily possible during the early stages (2).
Causes Of Ovarian Cancer In Teens:
Genetic mutation triggers the conversion of normal cells to cancerous cells, which leads to cancer. The cancerous cells multiply quickly and form a mass or tumor in the ovary, which leads to ovarian cancer. While many substances can lead to ovarian cancer, scientists are struggling to pinpoint an exact cause (3).
Symptoms Of Teenage Ovarian Cancer:
Some of the common manifestations of ovarian cancer include:
- Frequent or urgent urination
- Irritation around the pelvic region
- Swelling of legs
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Change in bowel habits (4)
Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer In Teens:
Doctors diagnose ovarian cancer by examining your daughter’s pelvic region. The doctor inspects the outer and inner parts of the genitals minutely. She also uses a device (speculum), to check abnormalities of the ovaries.
If the doctor suspects any abnormality in the ovaries, she may recommend performing these medical tests:
- Imaging Test:
She may recommend you certain types of imaging tests like an ultrasound and CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. The tests help diagnose the shape and size of the ovaries and to detect any abnormal tumors.
- Blood Test:
The blood test helps detect the presence of a specific protein (CA 125). CA 125 is typically present on the surface of ovarian cancer cells (5).
[ Read: Appendicitis In Teens ]
Treating Ovarian Cancer In Teens:
You can use two basic procedures to treat ovarian cancer in teenagers:
During the surgical process, the doctor removes the ovaries, the uterus, and the fallopian tubes from the body. She tries to remove cancer from the abdomen, by removing as much of the infected organs as possible.
Chemotherapy is good for girls with stage I ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy destroys the cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying.
[ Read: Causes Of Kidney Stones In Teenagers ]
Your teen’s doctor may adopt less extensive surgical procedures. For a teen girl with stage I ovarian cancer. It may not involve removal of the uterus. In such cases, your daughter may lose the ability to conceive and give birth to offspring.
Did your teen suffer from ovarian cancer? How did you help her cope with her difficult time?
Share your complete story here!
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