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Ovarian Cancer: A Comprehensive Essay Sample

Ovarian Cancer: A Comprehensive Essay Sample

A wide spectrum of cancerous diseases drastically deteriorates the quality of life and considerably reduces the life span of a human. The growing incidence, increased morbidity, and mortality rates associated with various malignancies make them a serious health issue and challenge for healthcare organizations worldwide. Moreover, specific cancers can tremendously affect female reproductive and overall health, and ovarian cancer is in this category. Sufficient knowledge regarding the stated disease, its etiology, preventive care, and treatment modalities can benefit any female, particularly from the risk group.

Ovarian cancer is a serious, life-threatening cancerous disease that can largely compromise a woman’s health and cause negative implications for the one. It is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable multiplication of malignant cells, eventually becoming tumors (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017). The discussed malignancy can be fatal without appropriate preventive strategies and therapeutic interventions.

For the reason of developing efficient preventive measures, researchers have closely scrutinized the etiology of the given pathology. It allowed the conclusion that old age, family history, genetic mutations, previous cancer-related status, and long-term estrogen replacement therapy are the major precipitating factors that increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Moreover, intrauterine device use, endometriosis, fertility medication, abnormal weight, excessive smoking, and no pregnancy history can ultimately facilitate the disease’s progression (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014). All the factors above contribute to the pathophysiology of the stated malignancy to different extents. However, numerous studies have asserted a strong association of ovarian cancer with significant mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are responsible for providing cellular stability, securing genetic information, and fixing DNA impairments. Severe mutations in the stated genes can disturb the cellular balance and compromise DNA-repairing abilities.

Consequently, such imbalance triggers the proliferation of the mutated cells which can result in ovarian cancer. Furthermore, “mutations in the TP53 and MLN1 or MLN2 genes” prevent from production of proteins that can suppress abnormal proliferation of the malignant cells and inhibit tumor growth (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017). Excessive weight or obesity is also responsible for harmful, malignant changes in the ovaries. The given disorder is largely associated with hormonal and physiologic alterations contributing to ovarian cancer pathogenesis.

Ovarian cancer preventive strategies can be effective by diminishing or eliminating the adverse effects of risk factors. In the case of having a family history and adverse genetic predisposition, it is highly recommended to have genetic counseling and BRCA gene testing. Furthermore, gynecologists can advise the conduction of “bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to females with revealed BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations after having pregnancy and completing childbearing” (Green, 2018). Post-operative surveys and investigations show that such a radical strategy can be efficacious in preventing ovarian cancer progression. It is estimated that “pregnancies, lactation, and hormonal contraceptives” can ultimately suppress ovulation and minimize ovarian cancer risk (McCance & Huether, 2014, p.831). In addition, an appropriate lifestyle, regular physical training, healthy nourishment with low consumption of saturated fat and red meat, and increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish can significantly decrease excessive weight in high-risk women and improve their endocrine profile. Such measures can considerably reduce the risks of acquiring ovarian cancer in prospect.

Moreover, regular “vaginal examination” and transvaginal ultrasound are critical preventive measures for preventing the reviewed disease in genetically predisposed females. Both visual studies can reveal “visible abnormalities in the uterus or ovaries” that can be managed at the earliest (Nordqvist, 2016). A specific blood test that measures serum cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) levels largely assists in detecting cancer-related abnormalities.

Gynecologists are involved in various treatment options for managing ovarian cancer. The treatment regimen may include surgical interventions, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Simultaneously, they actively use medication to alleviate the symptoms, enhance the overall condition, and eradicate impairments caused by the disease under scrutiny. Furthermore, targeted drug therapy is also a part of the drug treatment that can effectively eradicate malignant cells, and suppress their multiplication and growth without injuring healthy cells. It may include the administration of such relatively novel drugs as “bevacizumab and olaparib” (Pietrangelo & Cafasso, 2017). The latter medication is effective for treating female patients with mutated BRCA genes.

Furthermore, prescription “protein tyrosine kinase and angiogenesis inhibitors” effectively treat tumors and ovarian cancer cases (Zhang, Tian, & Sun, 2017). Clinical trials of apatinib intake and conventional chemotherapeutics show positive therapeutic efficiency in managing ovarian cancer patients. Oncologists involve carboplatin and a taxane drug, such as paclitaxel or docetaxel, in chemotherapy sessions to cease cancerous cell proliferation and suppress their multiplication and spread.

Presently, researchers continue improving the pharmaceutical properties of existing medications and developing new ones that can efficiently combat symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. Thus, clinicians continue studying the efficacy and applicability of “small-molecular-weight inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, epidermal growth factor receptors, and gene therapy” in managing the discussed cancer type (McCance & Huether, 2014, p. 834). Finally, the recent discovery of PARP inhibitors, in other words, “poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors with cytotoxic effects on mutated BRCA1- and BRCA2 cells,” demonstrate positive dynamics and therapeutic effects (Osman, 2014, p. 5).

Therefore, ovarian cancer is a serious cancerous disease that can significantly deteriorate a woman’s overall and reproductive health. Age, genetic mutations, strong family history, syndromes associated with genetic mutations, unhealthy lifestyle and nutrition, and inflammatory diseases increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, genetic abnormalities related to mutations in certain genes and unfavorable lifestyle and dieting habits are major precipitating factors that can precede the pathology. Pharmacotherapy is one of the primary treatment modalities in combatting the discussed malignancy that can provide sufficient therapeutic effect and positive outcomes. Medication is ultimately a part of targeted drug therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy that assists in eliminating cancerous cells and ceasing their multiplication. The ongoing research on novel medications can improve the efficacy of drug treatment with less detrimental consequences and side effects.

📎 References:

1. Green, A. (2018, January 5). Ovarian cancer treatment and management. Retrieved from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/255771-treatment#d29?form=fpf
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014a, June 12). Ovarian cancer. Risk factors. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20375941
3. McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (Eds.). (2014). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (7th ed.). St Louis, MO: Mosby.
4. Nordqvist, C. (2016, August 11). Ovarian cancer: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159675
5. Osman, M. A. (2014, December). Genetic cancer ovary. Clinical Ovarian and Other Gynecologic Cancer, 7(1/2), 1-7.
6. Pietrangelo, A., & Cafasso, J. (2017, July 3). Ovarian cancer: Early symptoms, detection, and treatment. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/ovarian-cancer-early-signs#overview1
7. Stöppler, M. C., & Davis, C. P. (2018, January 24). Ovarian cancer (Cancer of the ovaries). Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cancer/article.htm
8. Zhang, M., Tian, Z., & Sun, Y. (2017). Successful treatment of ovarian cancer with apatinib combined with chemotherapy. Medicine, 96(45). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690771/pdf/medi-96-e8570.pdf
9. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017). Ovarian cancer. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/ovarian-cancer/#genes