Ovaries are important female reproductive organ as they produce eggs. After fertilization of the eggs with male sperm, conception occurs. It produces hormone called estrogen. There are two ovaries, one on either side of uterus. A normal ovary is about the size of a marble. It is smooth and firm.
Ovarian tumor is common reproductive tract problem in women. Ovarian tumor is abnormal growth of the ovary. This growth can be non cancerous or cancerous. Only one or both the ovaries can be affected. In majority of cases ovarian tumor are cystic tumor and they are benign.However, this tumor can become malignant under certain circumstances.
Clinical treatment depends on the type of tumor, its severity, and histological report. Medications as well as surgery may be needed depending on the type of tumor.
Types And Causes Of Ovarian Tumors
Tumors of ovary are either malignant or non cancerous. They are differentiated into three types; epithelial cell tumor, germ cell tumor and stromal cell tumor. Epithelial tumor arises from the superficial layer of the ovary. This tumor is one of the most common tumors of ovary.
Germ cell tumor begins from the cells responsible for production of eggs.This tumor can be malignant or non cancerous. In most cases germ cell tumor is non cancerous. Stromal cell tumor is tumor which originates from the cells that produce hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone.
Researchers and medical practitioners are not able to find the exact cause of ovarian tumor. But several risk factors have been suspected for its occurrence. Smoking, overweight, infertility, taking hormone replacement therapy, family history of cancer, especially ovarian cancer, 40 years and above are some of the factors.
Signs And Symptoms Of Ovarian Tumor
Often ovarian tumors do not produce any symptom and they may be detected on routine medical checkup or on sonography of pelvis done for some other reason. This is the reason why ovarian cancer spreads before it is detected in the early stage.
Here are some of the important symptoms of ovarian tumor:
- Pain in lower abdomen. It is either on one side or on both sides of pelvis. Pain is dull and dragging and constant.
- Abnormality in bleeding and severe pain during menses.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Pain in vagina and pelvis during sex.
- Hardness over the abdomen.
- Lower back pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
Treatment Options For Ovarian Tumors
Treatment of ovarian tumor depends on several factors. This may depend whether the tumor is cancerous or non cancerous. It also depends on the size of tumor, whether it is spread to nearby pelvic organs etc. Most cancerous tumor of ovary has to be removed with surgery. Later on radiation and chemotherapy treatment may be necessary.
Treatment of benign tumor will depend on the size and the symptoms it produces. For example if the benign tumor is due to a cyst certain home remedies may be helpful. Applying castor oil pack on lower abdomen is beneficial in resolving the cyst. Chamomile tea is soothing for relief of pain.