Cancer that develops in one or both of your ovaries is called ovarian cancer. Every year, around 20,000 women are diagnosed with it.
“Cancer” is never a word you want to hear from your doctor. From prevention to diagnosis to treatment, the experts at Dignity Health provide care with humankindness. To meet with a Dignity Health oncologist about ovarian cancer in the Bay Area, use our search tool and Find a Doctor near you.
Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors
The risk factors for ovarian cancer include:
- Age — most cases start after menopause
- Estrogen hormone replacement therapy for five to 10 years or longer
- Caucasian race
- Use of fertility medication
- Genetics — five to 10 percent of ovarian cancers are related to gene mutations
- Reproductive conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Family or personal history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer
- Never being pregnant or having a first full-term pregnancy after age 35
Lifestyle factors can also increase your risk, including a high-fat diet and being overweight.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
In the advanced stages, symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- Urinary problems, such as frequent or urgent urination
- Menstrual changes
- Abdominal, pelvic, or back pain
- Pain during sex
- Trouble eating, feeling full quickly, or having an upset stomach
Talk with your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks. Your doctor will check your ovaries for problems and may refer you for further diagnostic testing. In some cases, exploratory surgery may be necessary for a diagnosis.
Ovarian Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health
Treatment for ovarian cancer depends on the exact type and stage of the disease. At Dignity Health Bay Area cancer centers, our oncologists use a range of treatments with the goal of removing tumors or eliminating cancer cells. Treatments include:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Targeted therapies
Dignity Health surgeons rely on some of the latest technologies to perform advanced procedures to remove cancerous and noncancerous ovarian tumors.
Learn more about treatment options at our four Bay Area locations:
Oncologists at Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area specialize in the treatment of gynecological cancers, including ovarian cancer, in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.