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What Is Ovarian Cancer?

By January 4, 2018Cancer, Ovarian, What Is

Ovarian cancer is a fast-growing group of cells that develops in the ovaries – the organs that produce sex cells which are responsible for creating new life – and which kills off surrounding, healthy ovarian tissues. There are several risk factors for ovarian cancer, and United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care is dedicated to providing free home healthcare those women who have developed ovarian cancer due to their occupation associated with the DOE or any of its subcontractors. Seeing that ovarian cancer can potentially affect a woman’s ability to bear children, this comes as a concern to many people who have received this diagnosis. Those who are past their childbearing years may also rightly feel concerned about an ovarian cancer diagnosis because of the cancer’s implications on overall health and well-being. Find out more about ovarian cancer, how it develops, and what you can do if you or a loved one has been handed this diagnosis.

Ovarian Cancer

As with any cancer, ovarian cancer consists of a group of cells that divide to rapidly and cause damage to healthy tissue. As cancer begins to develop, some mutation in the DNA of a cell causes the cell to divide incorrectly, making two new cells that are functionally useless. Usually the body is good about ridding defected cells, but if the cell with damaged DNA continues to divide without being detected, it can lead to what we know as cancer. The damaged cells with mutated DNA then begin to divide at a rapid rate, creating a mass of cells which absorbs energy and nutrients. As the body feeds cancer cells, surrounding health tissues begin to die and the organ itself stops functioning properly.

When cancer forms in the ovaries, the ovarian tissues begin to die off, posing a threat to women who are still in their childbearing years. The damage to ovaries can destroy sex cells which are needed for creating children, but the effects can also be devastating for those who don’t anticipate having more children. The ovaries are also glands that produce essential hormones such as estrogen. Those who have ovarian cancer risk damaging their estrogen supply, which can interfere with proper insulin production levels, weight maintenance, and proper bone density. If left unchecked, ovarian cancer may metastasize, meaning “spread”, to other organ systems in the body which can lead to even more serious problems or death.

How Ovarian Cancer Begins

There are several known and unknown risk factors for ovarian cancer. Among some of the known, non-occupational ovarian cancer causers are age, obesity, some types of birth control, gynecologic surgeries (such as tubes being tied), and fertility-related drugs. Most women who develop ovarian cancer “naturally” are rarely under the age of 40, and obesity can play a large role in this type of cancer’s origins. Sugars and fats feed cancer cells at a rapid rate, giving them energy to divide rapidly and kill off healthy cells, both of which are rich in the diets of those who are obese. Other gynecologic dealings, such as meds and surgeries, can also increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer as surgery splices cells which try to rebond and may end up with damaged DNA, and some drugs may affect the DNA directly in inadvertent ways. As for women who have worked in occupationally risky jobs, heavy metals and radiation exposure could directly affect the ovaries by mutating the cells’ overall DNA structure which the body is unable to detect.

Ovarian Cancer Statistics and Healing

The good news is that the overall survival rate for women with ovarian cancer over a five year period is about 45%, and that goes up substantially to 92% if the cancer is diagnosed and treated before it becomes too severe. The best thing a woman can do to catch ovarian cancer is to make gynecologic visits a yearly priority and to get screened for this type of cancer if she works in a high-risk cancer environment. We also recommend a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these types of foods keep cancer at bay and help the body identify and remove mutated cells more readily. For those who still end up receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis, the treatments of chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy have proven effective as means of helping the body eliminate the cancer and help the cancer patient live a long, fulfilling life after the diagnosis. Some women may even be able to continue bearing children, but your doctor will help you recognize the full possibility of healing given your individual circumstances.

How We Help

Our company, United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care, is dedicated to helping ovarian cancer and other occupational illness patients by providing free home health care to those with a covered illness. We have nurses and doctors that specialize in providing care for individuals and their families who are struggling with cancer and other occupational diseases, and we are able to do this under EEOICPA and RECA, two government programs that provide US energy workers with health benefits. If you or a loved one is struggling because of ovarian cancer or any other type of illness listed under the DOL EEOICPA or RECA qualifications, be sure to contact us today to claim your free benefits and let us help you in the healing process.