Ovarian cancer, ominously known as the “silent killer,” poses a substantial and formidable threat to women’s health. Once considered a bleak diagnosis, recent advancements in ovarian cancer management have significantly improved patient outcomes. This discussion delves into the pivotal elements of ovarian cancer, covering its manifestations and treatment strategies, with a particular emphasis on the roles of cytoreduction surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
This disease has now claimed its spot as the third most prevalent gynaecological cancer in the country, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive comprehension of the ailment and the array of available treatments.
Unmasking the Silent Nemesis: Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
The malignant reputation of ovarian cancer for evading early detection persists due to its subtle early symptoms, which often mimic more common ailments. Key indicators that warrant vigilant attention encompass:
- Abdominal Bloating: Prolonged, unexplained abdominal bloating, particularly when coupled with a sense of fullness
- Pelvic or Abdominal Discomfort: chronic pain or discomfort experienced in the pelvic or abdominal region.
- Eating Challenges: Difficulty in consuming food or a premature sensation of fullness, even after consuming modest portions.
- Frequent Urination: Heightened urgency to urinate and alterations in bowel habits
- Fatigue: unexplained fatigue that does not subside with rest.
Navigating ovarian cancer treatment avenues
Cytoreduction Surgery: Also termed debulking surgery, this surgical procedure assumes a paramount role in the management of ovarian cancer. The primary objective is to extirpate as much of the tumour as is feasible. Surgeons meticulously direct their efforts towards eradicating visible cancerous growths within the abdominal cavity. This surgery is indispensable for several reasons: it reduces the tumour burden, enhances the efficacy of subsequent treatments, assuages distressing symptoms such as pain and discomfort, and procures tissue samples necessary for precise diagnosis and staging.
HIPEC (Hypothermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy): HIPEC, a specialised treatment modality, often follows cytoreduction surgery. This therapeutic procedure is devised to target residual cancer cells residing in the abdominal cavity. The technique entails the circulation of heated chemotherapy solutions throughout the abdominal cavity. The application of heat augments the effectiveness of chemotherapy and minimises its systemic exposure. This precision-focused therapy is devised to obliterate any minuscule cancer cells that may have evaded detection during the surgical procedure.