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It is a form of cancer that is very subtle in it’s early stages with the symptoms often continuing unnoticed. Most ovarian cancers arise from the surface of the ovary, but research has suggested that the fallopian tubes may be responsible for some instances of ovarian cancer.
If you find yourself with the symptoms of ovarian cancer more than 10 times a month, then it is time to have yourself examined for ovarian cancer. Less common symptoms can include back pain, general tiredness, involuntary weight loss and an abdominal mass.
If you have a family member who has experienced ovarian cancer, your chances of experiencing the illness are twice as high.
Infertile women also have a higher risk of experiencing ovarian cancer as are women with endometriosis and women who have had estrogen replacement therapy.
Research has found that oral contraceptive pills are a protective factor against ovarian cancer.
Women who also had their first pregnancy at a young age also have a lower risk of contracting ovarian cancer, and women who have had their fallopian tubes blocked surgically also have lower risk. Because the ovaries produce the estrogen and progesterone hormones that some cancers require to grow, ovary removal can halt or slow cancers that occur specifically in women (such as breast cancer). In terms of genetic risk factors, carriers of some BRCA mutations have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Initially your doctor will do a physical examination to determine if there are any masses or fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity. For the diagnosis to be confirmed, surgery must be undertaken to take biopsies and inspect the abdominal cavity. Tubal ligation will drastically reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and some women who have a long family history of ovarian cancer may take this option.
Regular screening and being attentive to the symptoms of ovarian cancer is one of the best ways to prevent the disease taking hold.
Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to treat any tumors that are not easily removed during surgery and to stop any cancer cells spreading.
Radiation may be effective in the early stages of the illness, but due to the location of the ovaries it is not safe to use a high dose. Unfortunately because of the difficulty in spotting the symptoms of ovarian cancer early on, prognosis is generally not good for ovarian cancer. This report provides highlights from the full report Cancer in Australia: an overview 2012. Cancer is a major cause of illness in Australia and has a significant impact on individuals, families and the health-care system.
Incidence rate: the number of new cancers diagnosed per 100,000 population during a specific time period, usually 1 year. Mortality rate: the number of deaths per 100,000 people for which the underlying cause was cancer. Cancer is a diverse group of diseases in which some of the body's cells become defective and multiply out of control. Cancers can develop from most cell types and are distinguished from one another by the location in the body where the disease began (known as site) or by the cell type involved (known as histology).
A risk factor is any factor associated with an increased likelihood of a person developing a health disorder or health condition, such as cancer. While some risk factors cannot be changed, others—mainly those related to behaviours and lifestyle—are modifiable. It should be noted that having a risk factor does not mean that a person will develop cancer. Note: *latrogenic factors are inadvertent adverse effects or complications resulting from medical treatment or advice. In 2012, it is estimated that 120,710 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin). The age-standardised incidence rate of all cancers combined is estimated to be 474 per 100,000.
In 2012, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85 is expected to be 1 in 2 for males and 1 in 3 for females. The rates were standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001 and are expressed per 100,000 population. Grouped together, these five cancers are expected to account for more than 60% of all cancers in 2012.
Between 1991 and 2009, the number of new cancer cases diagnosed nearly doubled—from 66,393 in 1991 to 114,137 in 2009. The age-standardised incidence rate for all cancers combined increased by 12% from 433 per 100,000 in 1991 to 486 per 100,000 in 2009.

By the age of 85, the risk of dying from cancer was 1 in 4 for males and 1 in 6 for females. Together, these five cancers represented almost half (48%) of the total deaths from cancer, with lung cancer alone accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths (19%). The likelihood of dying from cancer was similar for males and females up to the age of 50-54. Mortality data for 2009 and 2010 are revised and preliminary, respectively, and are subject to further revision. In 2006-2010 for all cancers combined, 5-year relative survival decreased as a person got older.
Incidence data pertained to New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory from 2004 to 2008. Lung cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, and is the leading cause of cancer death. Over 160,000 individuals died as a result of lung cancer in 2008.[1] This number amounted to more than the number of deaths from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. To reduce the rate of distant metastases, adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy is now considered the standard of care for patients with stages IIA to IIIA NSCLC and may be considered an option for select patients with stage IB disease. Adjuvant ChemotherapyPrior to discussing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a brief review of adjuvant NSCLC chemotherapy is needed. Both the American Society of Clinical Oncology and National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with resectable stage IIA to IIIA NSCLC. Neoadjuvant ChemotherapyThe role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy has also been explored in patients with early-stage NSCLC. In the 1990s, two small randomized trials sparked further interest in neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resectable NSCLC because they demonstrated a survival benefit to platinum-based therapy (Table 2).[10,11] These trials had their limitations, which included relatively small patient numbers, unexpectedly poor outcome in the control arm, and inhomogeneous study populations. Gilligan et al developed a randomized trial that compared neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy to surgery alone.
At the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the results of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) 9900 trial were updated. As the name implies, it is a form of cancer that affects women’s ovaries and it affects mostly older women. So for example if you suddenly experience pelvic soreness on 5 days, have difficulty eating on 3 days, experience bloating on 4 days and are older than 50 you should seek diagnosis immediately. The bloating and pelvic pain are usually caused by a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity. Long term studies have shown that women who used oral contraception for 10 years have a 50%+ reduction in their chance of contracting ovarian cancer. A blood test for ovarian cancer markers will also be conducted, that specifically looks for CA-125. Cancer cells will most likely be found in the abdominal fluid if a patient has ovarian cancer. More than 50% of women presenting with ovarian cancer are already stage III or stage IV (stage I and II being early development).
It is part of a series of national statistical reports on cancer produced by the AIHW and the state and territory members of the Australasian Association of Cancer Registries. Despite a decline in cancer mortality and an increase in survival over time, 1 in 2 Australians will develop cancer and 1 in 5 will die from it before the age of 85.
It compares the survival of people diagnosed with cancer (that is, observed survival) with that experienced by people in the general population of equivalent age and sex in the same calendar year (that is, expected survival).
These abnormal cells invade and damage the tissues around them, and sooner or later spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body and can cause further damage. Understanding what causes cancer is essential to successfully prevent, detect and treat the disease. Many people have at least one cancer risk factor but will never get cancer, while others with this disease may have had no known risk factors.
More than half (56%) of these are expected to be diagnosed in males, and nearly three-quarters (70%) will occur among those aged 60 and over.
The overall cancer incidence rate is expected to be higher among males than females (558 and 405 per 100,000 respectively).
The increase is, in part, due to available testing and screening programs for some cancers.
This makes it the second most common cause of death, exceeded only by cardiovascular diseases (32% of all deaths) (ABS 2012). Mortality data pertained to New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory from 2006 to 2010.
For those with resectable disease, the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy has the potential to reduce tumor volume, address micrometastatic disease early, and improve outcomes.

The majority of lung cancer cases are non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and the poor outcomes are attributed to the high rate of metastases associated with this disease.
This article will review the neoadjuvant chemotherapy data and explore what role, if any, neoadjuvant chemotherapy plays in patients with resectable NSCLC. Three large trials and two meta-analyses have demonstrated that platinum-based chemotherapy can result in a survival benefit when given in the adjuvant setting.
The rationale for further investigations was the hope of decreasing micrometastases at distant sites and tumor burden preoperatively to increase resectability rates and overall survival. The Depierre et al study randomized 355 patients with stage IB to IIIA to two cycles of preoperative cisplatin, ifosfamide, and mitomycin compared with primary surgery.[13] Patients who responded to chemotherapy (64%) received an additional two cycles postoperatively. This study, which spanned four countries and randomized 588 participants with resectable stage I to III disease, failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in overall survival at 5 years (44% vs 45%, hazard ratio = 1.02).
The trial randomized 388 participants to surgery alone vs three cycles of preoperative carboplatin and paclitaxel. Those symptoms are frequently found in conjunction with other illnesses so it is often difficult to diagnose early on. The pressure on the stomach from this fluid buildup is usually what causes changes to apetite also.
So if you have a mother or grandmother who experienced ovarian cancer, you should consult a doctor early on if you experience symptoms, and get screened regularly when you are over 50.
Modern medicine allows women to understand their genetic risk factors more comprehensively so discuss this with your doctor. The symptoms aren’t very useful in early stages of ovarian cancer because they can point to many other illnesses.
By stage III and stage IV the cancer has already spread from the ovaries into other parts of the body.
It presents information on incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence, burden of disease due to cancer, hospitalisations and the national cancer screening programs.
The estimates for males and females may not add to the estimates for persons due to rounding.
Randomized trials comparing neoadjuvant platinum-based regimens with surgery alone were able to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of this modality. Before these studies were published, adjuvant chemotherapy was not considered a standard therapy. Although 31% of the patients in the chemotherapy arm were downstaged, there was no change in the planned surgery.[14] The investigators found no increase in surgical morbidity in the chemotherapy group. However, some factors that place individuals at a greater risk are well recognised and are listed below (IARC 2008). These trials supported evidence found in phase II trials that utilized third-generation chemotherapies. These late stages are unresectable and have grave prognoses (1%–5% 5-year survival).[2,3] Even those with early-stage (stage I–IIIA), resectable disease are likely to succumb to recurrent disease. In 1995, a meta-analysis of 52 randomized trials evaluating cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with NSCLC was reported. Factors that may have contributed to the negative results included the fact that six different chemotherapy regimens were allowed in this study and the majority of study participants had stage I disease (61%), thus making it more difficult for the study to reach statistical significance. These studies suggest a role for induction chemotherapy for patients with stage II or IIIA NSCLC who are operable candidates. Some are benign, which means they do not spread to other parts of the body and are rarely life-threatening. Still, limitations to these studies exist, such as the inclusion of various disease stages in one study, inter- and intratrial variability of the chemotherapy regimens used, and lack of phase III data comparing neoadjuvant to adjuvant chemotherapy. These heterogeneous factors make it difficult to offer firm recommendations about neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This subset analysis demonstrated that platinum-based regimens (8 studies) vs non–platinum-based regimens (6 studies) did improve survival following surgical resection.[7] Survival was improved by 4% at 2 years, with a 13% reduction in death. Other matters of contention include the role of postoperative radiation and the concern for increased postoperative complications, especially when a right pneumonectomy is being considered after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. To clarify these issues, well-structured phase III trials comparing adjuvant to neoadjuvant chemotherapy are needed.

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