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Ovarian Cancer

Information Regarding Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian epithelial cancer is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the tissue covering the ovary.The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs function.


Ovarian epithelial cancer is one type of cancer that affects the ovary. Women who have a family history of ovarian cancer are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Women who have one first-degree relative mother, daughter, or sister with ovarian cancer are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. 


This risk is higher in women who have one first-degree relative and one second-degree relative grandmother or aunt with ovarian cancer. This risk is even higher in women who have two or more first-degree relatives with ovarian cancer. 

Some ovarian cancers are caused by inherited gene mutations changes.The genes in cells carry the hereditary information that is received from a person&rsquos parents. Hereditary ovarian cancer makes up approximately 5% to 10% of all cases of ovarian cancer. Three hereditary patterns have been identified: ovarian cancer alone, ovarian and breast cancers, and ovarian and colon cancers.

Tests that can detect altered genes have been developed. These genetic tests are sometimes done for members of families with a high risk of cancer. 


Women with an increased risk of ovarian cancer may consider surgery to prevent it. Some women who have an increased risk of ovarian cancer may choose to have a prophylactic oophorectomy the removal of healthy ovaries so that cancer cannot grow in them. 


It is not known if this procedure prevents ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is hard to detect find early because usually there are no symptoms. Some women who have early stage ovarian cancer may have symptoms such as vague gastrointestinal GI discomfort, pressure in the pelvis, pain, swelling of the abdomen, and shortness of breath. Most of the time, there are no symptoms or they are very mild. 


By the time symptoms do appear, the cancer is usually advanced.When found in its early stages, ovarian epithelial cancer can be cured in many patients. Women with any stage of ovarian epithelial cancer should consider taking part in a clinical trial. 


Tests that examine the ovaries, pelvic area, blood, and ovarian tissue are used to detect find and diagnose ovarian cancer.The following tests and procedures may be used:

Pelvic exam: An exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and the other hand is placed over the lower abdomen to feel the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. A speculum is also inserted into the vagina and the doctor or nurse looks at the vagina and cervix for signs of disease. 

A Pap test or Pap smear of the cervix is usually done. The doctor or nurse also inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or abnormal areas. 

Ultrasound: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves ultrasound are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. 

CA 125 assay: A test that measures the level of CA 125 in the blood. CA 125 is a substance released by cells into the bloodstream. An increased CA 125 level is sometimes a sign of cancer or other condition. 

Barium enema: A series of x-rays of the lower gastrointestinal tract. A liquid that contains barium a silver-white metallic compound is put into the rectum. The barium coats the lower gastrointestinal tract and x-rays are taken. This procedure is also called a lower GI series. 

Intravenous pyelogram IVP: A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder to find out if cancer has spread to these organs. A contrast dye is injected into a vein. As the contrast dye moves through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, x-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages. 

CT scan CAT scan: A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography. 

Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. The tissue is removed in a procedure called a laparotomy a surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen. 


Certain factors affect treatment options and prognosis chance of recovery.


The prognosis chance of recovery and treatment options depend on the following:

The stage of the cancer.

The type and size of the tumor.

The patient&rsquos age and general health. 

Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred come back. 

Ovarian germ cell tumor is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the germ egg cells of the ovary. Germ cell tumors begin in the reproductive cells egg or sperm of the body. Ovarian germ cell tumors usually occur in teenage girls or young women and most often affect just one ovary. 

The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs function. 

Ovarian germ cell tumor is a general name that is used to describe several different types of cancer. The most common ovarian germ cell tumor is called dysgerminoma. Possible signs of ovarian germ cell tumor are swelling of the abdomen or vaginal bleeding after menopause. Ovarian germ cell tumors can be difficult to diagnose find early. 


Often there are no symptoms in the early stages, but tumors may be found during regular gynecologic examinations checkups. A woman who has swelling of the abdomen without weight gain in other places should see a doctor. A woman who no longer has menstrual periods who has gone through menopause should also see a doctor if she has bleeding from the vagina. 


Tests that examine the ovaries, pelvic area, blood, and ovarian tissue are used to detect find and diagnose ovarian germ cell tumor. 


The following tests and procedures may be used: Pelvic exam:

 An exam of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and the other hand is placed over the lower abdomen to feel the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. A speculum is also inserted into the vagina and the doctor or nurse looks at the vagina and cervix for signs of disease. 

A Pap test or Pap smear of the cervix is usually done. The doctor or nurse also inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or abnormal areas. 

Laparotomy: A surgical procedure in which an incision cut is made in the wall of the abdomen to check the inside of the abdomen for signs of disease. The size of the incision depends on the reason the laparotomy is being done. Sometimes organs are removed or tissue samples are taken for biopsy. 

Lymphangiogram: A procedure used to x-ray the lymph system. A dye is injected into the lymph vessels in the feet. The dye travels upward through the lymph nodes and lymph vessels, and x-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages. This test helps find out whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. 

CT scan CAT scan: A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography. 

Blood tests: Tests to measure the levels of alpha fetoprotein AFP and human chorionic gonadotropin HCG in the blood. AFP and HCG are substances that may be signs of ovarian germ cell tumor when found at increased levels. 

Certain factors affect prognosis chance of recovery and treatment options.

The prognosis chance of recovery and treatment options depend on the following:

The type of cancer.

The size of the tumor.

The stage of cancer whether it affects part of the ovary, involves the whole ovary, or has spread to other places in the body.

The way the cancer cells look under a microscope.

The patient&rsquos general health.

Ovarian germ cell tumors are generally curable if found and treated early. Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is a disease in which precancerous cells cells that may, or are likely to, become cancer form in the tissue covering the ovary.


Ovarian low malignant potential tumor is considered precancerous or premalignant, a condition that may or is likely to become cancer. This disease seldom spreads beyond the ovary. When disease is found in one ovary, the other ovary also should be checked carefully for signs of disease.


In most cases, ovarian low malignant potential tumor can be treated successfully.These tumors are usually found early. Most women, however, survive even advanced stage ovarian low malignant potential tumors. Patients who do not survive usually die from complications of the disease such as a small bowel obstruction or the side effects of treatment, but rarely because the tumor has spread.

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