Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the ovaries and accounts for around three percent of cancers in women. Each year, more than 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
There are a number of different forms of ovarian cancer, including epithelial tumors, which being in the outer tissue of the ovaries; stroll tumors, which occur in the hormone-producing cells; and germ cell tumors, a rare form of the condition in which tumors first appear in the egg-producing cells. Factors that may increase the risk of ovarian cancer developing include hereditary genetic mutations, being over 60 years of age, undergoing estrogen hormone replacement therapy, fertility treatment, smoking, intrauterine devices, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In the early stages, ovarian cancer is often asymptomatic, but in the advanced stages, signs of the condition may appear. Symptoms include weight loss, discomfort in the pelvic area, abdominal bloating or swelling, quickly getting a feeling of fullness when eating, changes in bowel habits, and a frequent need to urinate.
Surgery to remove tumors, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are common treatments for ovarian cancer. Drug classes often used to treat ovarian cancer are other antimetabolites antineoplastic agents, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, nitrogen mustard analogs, taxanes, pyrimidine analogs, and other alkylating agents.