Dr Shiva harikrishnan - Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a group of diseases that originates in the ovaries in which abnormal cells grow out of control where ovarian cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, treatment works best, ovarian cancer often causes signs and symptoms, hence important to know the usual signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.


  • Feeling constantly bloated
  • Discomfort and swelling in your stomach and pelvic region
  • Feeling full unusually quickly while eating, experiencing loss of appetite
  • An unintentional weight loss
  • Urinary frequency or urgency.

How can women prevent ovarian cancer?

There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer. One needs to pay attention to one’s body and be alert to any abnormal signs and symptoms suggestive of ovarian cancer and consult a healthcare professional for assistance.


  • Some ways to prevent ovarian cancer include following a healthy exercise regime and maintain a healthy diet. Along with an active lifestyle and including foods like beans, eggs, nuts, carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salmon, berries, walnuts, almonds.
  • Avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol consumption also reduces the risk.
  • Those who are taking oral contraceptives are found to have 50% of lower risk of developing ovarian cancer.
  • Women need to avoid carcinogens like talcum powder and vaginal deodorants.
  • Women who have given birth to at least one child especially before the age of 30 years; have a lower risk and also those who breast feed their children also reduce the risk.


What are the healthy foods one can eat to promote good ovarian health?

Food good for ovarian health includes tomatoes, kale, spinach, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, fruits like blue and strawberries, salmon and sardines which are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

What are the consequences of ovarian cancer?

Around 75% of women with ovarian cancer reported having fatigue or weakness.  Surgery which is considered as the primary mode of treatment can lead to complications like infection, vaginal bleeding, blood clots in the pelvis or legs, leg swelling if lymph nodes are removed at surgery, bladder and bowel issues. If both ovaries are removed, it will affect fertility and can cause early menopause as well.

What are the different methods of treatment available?

Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. Surgery may need the removal of ovaries +/- uterus +/- removal of lymph nodes +/- bowel fat (omentum) depends on the age of the patient and stage of cancer. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy mostly will be needed in addition to surgery.

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