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Ovarian cancer, not child, teen or adult female are safe

free hand depiction of the female reproductive system
free hand depiction of the female reproductive system
Mercedes Huerta

The organs of the female reproductive system are highly specialized for the production of cells, transport, and fertilization. They also provide the favorable environment for the development of offspring and the production of female sex hormones. The primary organ within the female reproductive system is the ovaries, which produce egg cells and female sex hormones.

The ovaries are egg shaped, solid structures and are located, one on each side of the lateral wall of the pelvic cavity. When ovarian cancer is present, five percent of those afflicted will also have germ cell tumors. Children and young women are susceptible and most usually occur within that group.

Germ cell refers not to types of bacteria but rather to germinate as to reproduction. According to the world's largest cooperative cancer research organization, only 2.4 children out of one million will contract the cancerous tumor each year and four percent of all cancers in children and adolescents less than twenty years of age.

Early detection is difficult at best because some females, regardless of age group are asymptomatic or just have mild symptoms, which become transient until the cancer has advanced greatly. Scientists are studying ways to detect Germ cell ovarian cancer before symptoms develop.

Prevalent symptoms include urinary frequency, constipation, abdominal pressure, unexpected weight loss or gain, nausea, indigestion, bloating and discomfort, shortness of breath along with unusual fatigue. For those who have begun menstruation, these symptoms may seem like part of the normal monthly cycle. However when there is a problem, the symptoms do not go away and may remain mild in intensity.

Once a diagnosis is in hand however, treatment options vary and are highly individualized due to the status of the disease. The Florida Cancer Specialist and Research Institute would be a great starting point. With over seventy oncologist and more than 25 locations in southwest Florida, this practice has the resources and specialist to assure that the latest treatments are available, including clinical trials. Having a large and nationally recognized organization in southwest Florida, serves our community very well.

No matter the age, if symptoms such as those described above see a physician immediately. This type of cancer can remain silent until it is too late.

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