Epithelial tumors, stromal tumors, and germ cell tumors are the different types of ovarian cancer. Kristina Rua, Patient Nurse Navigator with Miami Cancer Institute, explains the epithelial tumor is the tumor that comes from the actual outer portion of the ovary, and it is the big majority of the of ovarian cancers. "85% to 90% of tumors are epithelial tumors and they are also the most aggressive, unfortunately."
Kristina Rua, Patient Nurse Navigator with Miami Cancer Institute, explains a stage one tumor is confined to the ovary, and a stage two cancer would be on both ovaries and extending into the fallopian tubes. "The amount of tumors does not differentiate the stage, it is more where the location is", she says. Some symptoms of ovarian cancer are weight loss, discomfort in the pelvis area, and a frequent need to urinate.
Kristina Rua, Patient Nurse Navigator with Miami Cancer Institute, explains the ovary produces the hormones and the egg, which will be fertilized to lead to conception and a fetus. She points out ovarian cancer is a tumor that arises in the ovary. "The ovary is so small until the tumor is large; there are no symptoms, and they tend to be generalized digestive symptoms, constipation, getting full quickly, urinary incontinence or urinary issues, just because of the pressure once the tumor starts getting large."
Fatigue, weight loss, and nausea are some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Kristina Rua, Patient Nurse Navigator with Miami Cancer Institute, says fatigue is the biggest and most common complaint of patients. "The common misconception with fatigue is that if you are tired, you sit down and rest. Chemotherapy fatigue, the biggest and best way to treat it is to exercise. Patients that are more active and involved into light exercise tend to do better and have less long-term effects of fatigue."
Kristina Rua, Patient Nurse Navigator with Miami Cancer Institute, explains there are different tests to diagnose ovarian cancer. "There is the CA-125, which is a tumor marker that is used a lot with ovarian cancer." She also highlights imaging tests, such as pelvic or vaginal ultrasound or a CT scan as test options. She also says studies have shown that women who have had children and women that are on birth control have less risk of suffering from ovarian cancer, because their ovulation has been stopped.