What is Ovarian cancer?
The ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal malignancies are frequently referred to collectively as “ovarian cancer”. The malignancies are treated similarly because they are closely related to one another.
Certain cancers start when healthy cells in these regions transform and increase out of control to produce a mass known as a tumour. A tumour may be benign or malignant. Malignant refers to the ability of a cancerous tumour to develop and metastasize to different body regions. If a tumour is benign, it can enlarge but won’t spread.
An abnormal tissue growth on the ovary’s surface is known as an ovarian cyst. It can happen during a typical menstrual cycle and typically go away independently. Cancer is not present in simple ovarian cysts.
According to recent studies, high-grade serous cancers account for most ovarian/fallopian tube cancers. In most cases, the disease begins at the fallopian tubes’ tip or outer end. It then spreads to the ovaries’ surface and can expand further.
Suggestions based on recent research
Given this new information, several medical professionals advise against tying or banding fallopian tubes for contraception (to prevent future pregnancy) to reduce the risk of ovarian/fallopian tube cancer. When a patient has surgery for a benign ailment and does not wish to become pregnant, some doctors also advise fallopian tube removal. This approach might lessen the likelihood that these malignancies will spread.
Under a microscope, most of these illnesses resemble one another because the ovaries’ surfaces, the fallopian tubes’ lining, and the peritoneum’s covering cells are composed of the same cells. Rarely peritoneal cancer can appear after removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Some peritoneal malignancies, like ovarian cancer, can start in the fallopian tubes and progress from the tube’s end into the peritoneal cavity.
Ovarian Cancer Statistics
Ovarian cancer is anticipated to affect 313,959 persons globally in 2020. Every year between 1990 and the middle of 2010, fewer new instances of ovarian cancer were reported. From 2014 to 2018, the incidence rates decreased at an accelerated rate of 3%. The increased use of oral contraceptives and reduced use of hormone therapy for menopause in the 2000s may be responsible for this encouraging trend.
Ovarian cancer is expected to claim the lives of 207,252 individuals worldwide in 2020. The ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer collectively account for the sixth most common cancer-related death among women. In the decade between the early 2000s and the early 2010s, the death rate decreased by about 2%. The decline in death rates rose to 3% yearly between 2015 and 2019. Fewer cases and improvements in treatment are mostly to blame for this drop in the death rate.
The percentage of patients who survive for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis is shown by the 5-year survival rate. The stage, cell type, grade of cancer, and the patient’s age all significantly impact the likelihood of survival. For instance, women under 65 have a 5-year survival rate of 61%, whereas women 65 and beyond have a 5-year survival rate of 33%. Survival rates are also increased when debulking surgery is carried out by a gynecologic oncologist rather than a gynaecologist or general surgeon.
The overall 5-year survival rate for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer is 93% if they are discovered and treated before they spread outside the ovaries and tubes. This stage of the disease is seen in about 19% of female patients with epithelial ovarian and fallopian tube cancer. The 5-year survival rate is 75% if the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs. The 5-year survival rate is 30% if the cancer has progressed to a distant body area. At this point, at least 50% of individuals have a diagnosis.
Disadvantages of survival percentage
It’s essential to remember that the survival percentages for those with ovarian, fallopian tubes, and peritoneal cancer are estimated. The estimate is based on data collected annually on the prevalence of certain cancers.
Additionally, only every five years do the experts measure the survival rates. This indicates that the estimate might not account for improvements in the last five years in detecting or managing ovarian, fallopian tubes, and peritoneal cancer.