March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that it is the fifth most common cancer in women. Approximately 7,000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.

Well what is the function of ovaries?

Put simply, it is:

  1. to produce and store eggs for reproduction
  2. to produce hormones oestrogen and progesterone

There are 3 types of ovarian cancer: epithelial, germ cell and sex- cord stromal

Approximately 90% of Ovarian Cancer tumours are epithelial, which are commonly occurring in women between ages of 40 and 60.

What are the stages and grades of Ovarian Cancer?

The stages represent how far the cancer has spread inside the body. They are as follows:  

  1. The cancer is contained within one or both of the ovaries.
  2. Cancer is found outside the ovary or ovaries
  3. Ovarian Cancer has spread to both ovaries and spread past pelvis but not the liver or lymph nodes
  4. Cancer has spread to the liver, lungs and brain

So what are the signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?  Look out for:

  • Persistent stomach pain
  • Persistent bloating
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Needing to urinate more frequently
  • Changes to bowel habits (e.g. diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Back pain

The symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are distinct because they are:

  • Persistent – the symptoms don’t go away
  • Frequent (you get them for more than 12 days a month)
  • Getting progressively worse
  • New (they started in the last 12 months)
  • Unusual (not normal for you)

There can also be a risk of developing Ovarian Cancer in the following circumstances:

  • Family history – you may have inherited a faulty gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
  • If ovarian, colon, bowel or stomach cancer are in your family
  • You are over 50
  • Endometriosis
  • Using oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy
  • Smoking
  • Long menstrual history
  • Starting period before 12
  • Having first child after 30
  • Not having any children
  • Not breast feeding

While Osteopathic care is not a cure or treatment for cancer, it may help with symptoms you may be having such as pain or restricted movement[1].  For more information about our services contact us at Backstobasics Osteopathy on 01923 710424.

This is why we aim to be the best Osteopaths in Hertfordshire. 

by Anita Singadia, Osteopath & Sports Massage Therapist