Friday, June 3, 2016

Surviving Women's Cancer - Ovarian Cancer

While Ovarian Cancer in the lymph nodes is certainly not a good thing, the prognosis is not any worse than someone staged at IIIC due to the size and locations of metastasis. As a matter of fact, in some cases, disease in the lymph nodes affords a better prognosis than those staged at IIIC due to bulky disease in the upper abdomen.

There has been extensive research on this topic. Several studies indicate that ovarian cancer, even when found in the lymph nodes, is not very likely to spread via the lymphatic system. There is also studies that show that many women are upstaged to IIIC due lymph node involvement, and those that are upstaged ( not really a true stage IIIC otherwise ) have significantly better survival than those who are "true" staged IIIC. 

Survival Rates  

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
wrote that for all types of ovarian cancer or women's cancer taken together, about 3 in 4 women with ovarian cancer live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. Almost half (46%) of women with ovarian cancer are still alive at least 5 years after diagnosis. Women diagnosed when they are younger than 65 do better than older women.

Most women diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of approximately 34%. Survival rates are often based on studies of large numbers of people, but they can't predict what will happen in any particular person's case. Other factors impact a woman's prognosis, including her general health, the grade of the cancer, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. 

Women'sCancer Staging  

Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP from Healthline says "Staging is a way of describing how far the cancer has spread and how aggressive it is. This usually can't be determined until after surgery. Knowing the stage helps doctors formulate a treatment plan and gives you some idea of what to expect. These are the four stages for ovarian cancer."

Stage 1

In stage 1, the cancer has not spread outside the ovaries. Stage 1A means the cancer is only in one ovary. In stage 1B, the cancer is found in both ovaries. Stage 1C means one or both ovaries contain cancer cells, and there are cancer cells outside an ovary. 

Stage 2 

In stage 2, the cancer has occurred in one or both ovaries, and it has spread elsewhere within the pelvis. Stage 2A means it has gone from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes, the uterus, or to both. Stage 2B indicates the cancer has migrated to nearby organs like the bladder, sigmoid colon, or rectum. 

Stage 3 

In stage 3, the cancer is found in one or both ovaries and in the lining of the abdomen, or it has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen. In Stage 3A, the cancer is found in other pelvic organs and in lymph nodes within the abdominal cavity (retroperitoneal lymph nodes), or in the abdominal lining. Stage 3B is when the cancer has spread to nearby organs within the pelvis. Cancer cells may be found on the outside of the spleen or liver, or in the lymph nodes. Stage 3C means larger deposits of cancer cells are found outside the spleen or liver or it has spread to the lymph nodes. 

Stage 4 

In stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites. In stage 4A, cancer cells are present in the fluid around the lungs. Stage 4B means it has reached the inside of the spleen or liver, distant lymph nodes, or to other distant organs such as the skin, lungs, or brain. This is the most advanced stage of ovarian cancer. 

Survival Rate

What affects survival 

The latest study, which was quoted by Cancer Research UK reported that your survival rate depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

The type and grade of ovarian cancer affects your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

Your likely survival is also affected by whether the surgeon can remove all the tumour during initial surgery.

Your general health and fitness may also affect survival. Doctors have a way of grading how well you are. This is called performance status. Women who have a good performance status have a better outlook.

Age also affects outcome and survival is better for younger women. 

Judith Fox, a women's cancer survivor of stage 3C adds "You are an individual," she said, "and survival rates are statistics based on thousands of women." She continued, "The statistics will not predict how you will respond to treatment.

"When you get into treatment, you have a choice - you can dwell on where you are, or you can focus on the things you have to look forward to." said Danielle Dennis, remembering when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

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