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Ovarian Tumors And Cysts-Symptoms, Tests And Treatments

Ovarian Tumors And Cysts
Ovarian tumors and cysts affect the womens health around the world. Ovaries are 2 small organs that are responsible for making hormones like estrogen which triggers menstruation. The ovaries release one tiny egg every month and this egg makes a way down to the fallopian tube for being fertilized potentially. This egg releasing cycle is called ovulation.

Ovarian Cysts

They are sacs filled with fluids that are formed in the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are very common particularly during the years of childbearing. There are many types of the ovarian cysts among which the most common one is the function cyst. It basically forms during the ovulation. Its formation happens when the egg forming sac does not really dissolve after an egg is released. Other types of the cysts are:
  • Endometriomas
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Dermoid cysts
  • Cystadenomas

Ovarian Tumors

Tumors may form in ovaries, just like they form in the other parts of body. The tumors that are non-cancerous are known as benign and those that are cancerous are called malignant. Three types of the ovarian tumors are:
  • Stromal tumors
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Epithelial cell tumors
Doctors are not sure what actually causes ovarian cancer. Though, they have identified several risk factors that include:
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Age- specifically those women who are at the age of menopause
  • Taking fertility drugs (like Clomid)
  • Not breastfeeding or not having children (however, using pills for birth control seems to reduce the risk)
  • Personal or family history of colorectal, breast or ovarian cancer (having BRCA gene may increase the risk)
  • Hormone replacement therapy

Symptoms Of Ovarian Tumors And Cysts

Often, the ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms while some women who experience signs of female infertility should get themselves checked. A woman may not realize that she has one until she visits her health care provider or a gynecologist for the routine pelvic exam. However, the ovarian cysts can cause several problems if they rupture, bleed or twist. If you feel any of the following symptoms, it is very important to get them thoroughly checked:
  • Bloating or pain in the abdomen
  • Need to urinate frequently or difficulty urinating
  • Dull ache in lower back
  • Weight gain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Abnormal bleeding and painful menstruation
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Feeling full quickly or loss or appetite

Diagnosis Of Ovarian Tumors And Cysts

The gynecologist or an obstetrician or any regular doctor while doing the routine pelvic exam may feel a small lump. Most of the ovarian growths are usually benign but some can be cancerous too. That is why it is very important to have the growths checked as soon as possible. Postmenopausal women should especially get examined because they have higher risk of the ovarian cancer. The tests that check for the ovarian tumors or cysts include:
  • Hormone levels- follicle stimulated hormone, estradiol, testosterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Ultrasound
  • Other imaging tests- MRI, positron emission tomography, and CT scans
  • CA-125
  • Laparoscopy

How Are Ovarian Tumors And Cysts Treated

Surgery is a clear option if the cysts do not go away, cause pain or grows. There are 2 types of surgeries:
  • Laparotomy
  • Laparoscopy
Other treatments for the cancerous ovarian tumors are:
  • Radiation- it includes high energy X-rays for shrinking or killing the cancer cells. But this is not used very often for the ovarian cancer.
  • Chemotherapy- drugs given by mouth, through a vein, or directly to the abdomen for killing the cancer cells.
Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery may be given together or individually. It is very likely for the ovarian cancerous tumors to return which means more surgery to ensure womens health. While cysts and tumors may increase the risk of infertility, you should also consider what can increase the risk of infertility besides cysts.