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Ovarian cysts are often associated with ovarian cancer. In fact, not all ovarian cysts have the potential to become malignant or cancerous. With proper treatment, ovarian cysts can be treated and prevented from getting worse
Ovarian cysts are quite common in women. These cysts are usually harmless and will go away on their own without special treatment. What makes ovarian cysts dangerous is when they burst, are very large, or block the blood supply to the ovaries.
In addition, ovarian cysts that are not detected and treated early also have the potential to develop into malignant or cancerous.
Ovarian Cyst Risk Factors
There are several factors that can increase a woman's risk of developing ovarian cysts, including:
- hormone disorders
- Side effects of drugs, such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- Certain diseases, such as endometriosis and infection or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Previous history of ovarian cyst
- History of surgery on ovaries
In certain cases, benign ovarian cysts can potentially become ovarian cancer. This is more at risk for women who have certain risk factors, such as:
- Over 50 years of age or menopause
- Has BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation genes
- Has a family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or colon cancer
- Being overweight or obese
- Undergoing hormone therapy after menopause
- Has a smoking habit
- Suffering from breast cancer
- Taking drugs to increase fertility, such as hormone therapy
Recognizing the Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are usually difficult to detect or diagnose because they are generally asymptomatic. These cysts only cause symptoms when they are large, rupture, or interfere with ovarian function.
However, some ovarian cysts can cause some symptoms, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Pain during defecation and sexual intercourse
- stomach ache
- Nausea and vomiting
- stomach bloating
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Breast pain
- Easy to get full even though you only eat a little
- Pelvic pain before or during menstruation and spreading to the lower back and thighs
If you experience the above symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for developing ovarian cysts, you should immediately consult a doctor.
How to Detect Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts can be detected through an examination by a doctor. To detect and diagnose ovarian cysts, doctors can perform a physical examination and supporting examinations in the form of:
Ultrasound examination is one of the main steps in diagnosing ovarian cysts. With ultrasound, the doctor can see the size, shape, location, and see if the cyst contains solid tissue or fluid.
This examination is also carried out to monitor the development of ovarian cysts and guide doctors when they want to do a biopsy on the ovaries.
Biopsies is a procedure of taking a sample of ovarian tissue for later examination in the laboratory to determine whether the cyst is benign or has the potential to become malignant.
The doctor will also do a blood test, if the ultrasound or biopsy results show that the cyst has the potential to be malignant or has signs of ovarian cancer.
One of the examination methods that can be done through this test is the CA-125 protein examination. This substance is usually elevated or detectable in women who have certain diseases, such as ovarian cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids.
Through a small incision, the doctor will insert a laparoscope, which is a tube with a light and camera attached at the end. With laparoscopy, doctors can see directly the pelvic cavity and reproductive organs to detect any abnormalities.
Usually, ovarian cysts will be treated medically if they are large, cause pain, cause frequent urination, or interfere with menstruation.
However, not all ovarian cysts require medical treatment. Functional cyst types related to the menstrual cycle are generally harmless. These cysts can go away on their own in 2-3 menstrual cycles.
If you feel any symptoms or have risk factors for ovarian cysts that have been mentioned above, immediately consult a doctor.
Through early examination and treatment, the doctor can determine the type of cyst you are experiencing and treat it so that it does not develop into ovarian cancer. Thus, ovarian cysts can be treated properly and the risk of complications is lower.