How poor eating habits affect your immune system

A familiar scenario prevails today where we often observe people consuming unhealthy food from the restaurants or local street vendors. Today meals are commonly eaten on the go because of lack of time to cook at home or excess work pressure. And so it is important to understand the nature of unhealthy dietary habits and how to alter these to protect your immune system from its damaging effects.

What do poor eating habits include?

Poor eating habits include over-eating or under-eating and not consuming healthy diet and eating food rich in fats & drinks high in sodium or sugar. Junk food is indeed tastier because of the high fat content in it. But it does not fulfill your nutritional requirements as it is processed really fast inside the body. It leaves your hungry within an hour or two after your last meal. So essentially, it is food that has been consumed in vain as it doesn’t nourish your body. Instead the high fats in the unhealthy food can lead to deterioration of the body cells. Studies have also indicated that junk food being is associated with the growth of cancer cells. Under-eating too deprives your body directly because of the consumption of nutrients lower than the optimum levels required for maintaining normal body functions.

What are the effects on the immune system?

Your body is comprised of protective cells called the immune cells. The immune cells also require nutritional elements such as vitamins and minerals for their growth, just like any other body cell. When you consume junk food that comprises of only certain food groups, you deprive your body of nutritional gain. Due to this, immune cells fail to mature or are formed in insufficient numbers to defend the body against various ailments. Also, the organs in your immune system such as Thymus, Lymph nodes, Spleen, which are actively involved in filtering out of infectious agents, start malfunctioning. This can have chronic and irreversible harmful effect on the immune system.

Excessive eating habits also lead to weight gain. Obese people find it increasingly difficult to perform day-to-day activities and become susceptible to diseases like autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, hypertension, diabetes and innumerable other ailments. These illnesses further weaken your immune system.

How to cope and change your poor eating habits?

Poor eating habits can become the perpetual cause of stress in your lives as the body continues to get overweight or underweight. As your body shape can get deformed, you may suffer from self- esteem issues and lack of self confidence. This indirectly affects your social connections at family or work So, to be ahead in this competitive time, you need to actively involve yourself in seeking a healthy lifestyle by opting out of unhealthy eating habits.

  • Consume balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and mineral content

  • Include lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet.

  • You should neither skip your meals nor do binge eating on multiple occasions.

  • Devise a plan to restrain your temptations to consume unhealthy food and set realistic goals.

  • Discuss with your physician as well as dietician and seek health advice & perform medical tests if advised.

  • Discuss with your family to seek emotional support during the habit transformation.

Our body is strong enough to fight most of the harmful diseases and ailments that affect humankind. It is up to us to build its strength through the right diet and self care.

 

Does your kid need glasses?

More often than not, vision problems in children can go undetected for a long time. The reason

could be that your child might not be vocal about the vision problems they might be facing in

and out of the classroom, or even you might not be able to identify the early signs of any vision

Impairment.

Detecting a child’s vision problems can be a daunting task for parents, yet it is important. It is

better to know all signs that your kid might be showing that hint towards a poor/hindered vision.

Here are some of them that you must take note of immediately:

Squinting:

Squinting is a defense mechanism on your kid’s part to focus on an image better. Doing this

could mean that your little one has a refractive error which he is temporarily and impulsively

trying to correct to improve his/her clarity of vision. If you see them squinting to see something

on more than one occasion, this definitely needs investigation.

Tilting head on one side:

This is another way kids adapt to compensate for eye misalignments. This could be a sign of

eye muscle imbalance or a lazy eye. Tilting head on one side means the kid wants to see past

the eyelid that might be in the way or to make an object appear directly in front of him. This also

provides respite from double vision even though for a short while.

Headaches/eye pain:

This happens due to overexertion that the eyes are put throughout the day. To improve focus

and clarity your child might be putting an extra burden on the eyes, while a headache could be

due to added frustration due to blurred vision and resultant poor performance.

Holding books or devices too close to the eye:

People who have myopia or nearsightedness have clear vision at close range and poorer vision

at a distance. If your kid keeps the book too close to the eye or sits too close to the TV, this is

his/her attempt to see things bigger and clearer.

Rubbing eyes excessively:

Rubbing eyes if they are itchy or watery could be a sign for several eye conditions such as

allergies or even conjunctivitis. However, it is also a clear indication of eye fatigue that the organ

goes throughout the day because of poor vision.

If your little one is exhibiting any of these signs, yes, they definitely need glasses. Even with

vision screening that most schools hold imperative for a child’s eye health, some of the vision

problems might still be hidden, and only adding to your little one’s frustration as they struggle to

read the blackboard. Don’t look at it in a negative way, if your kid starts wearing glasses, there

eyesight might just improve or strengthen with time while being protected from poor vision!

 

Common myths about Obesity

Obesity is the condition in which your body’s weight increases and tends to have adverse effects on your overall health. Obesity can put your body under several other risks such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, depression, and several others. Obesity is considered to be unhealthy as it is most often the result of following a sedentary lifestyle, lack of activity, heredity and irregular and unhealthy food habits. However, there are several other aspects that affect one’s body weight and may cause obesity which is often neglected by people but are genuine, factual causes of obesity such as severe hormonal imbalance, PCOS, depression, types of thyroid and several such physiological aspects. Apart from obesity being a taboo subject, there are several myths that revolve around it.

This article is directed towards debunking the myths regarding obesity.

Some of the common myths that are often related to obesity and being fat are:

1. Weight gain is all about calorie in and calorie out

This is a common belief but it is not true. Weight gain can be due to varied factors and especially if the food you eat is predominantly unhealthy or fails to provide you with the necessary nutrition.

2. You cannot lose weight if you don’t have a strong willpower

This again is absolutely untrue! The truth is that your willpower along with various other factors plays a role in deciding your weight.

3. Setting realistic goals in obesity treatment is important because otherwise patients will become frustrated and lose less weight.

However, to goal-setting theory, unachievable goals recede performance and discourage goal-attaining behavior; when losing weight, the expected and one’s actual weight loss is assumed to undermine the patient’s perceived capacity or ability to attain a certain goals which may further lead to a discontinuation of the required behavior or strategy needed for weight loss.

4. All fat people are unhealthy

No, fat may be caused due to various reasons and the effects and appearance of it can vary from case to case. Fat people may weigh excessively due to a certain reason but at the same time can be highly active, agile and healthy.

5. Evaluating the stage of change or diet willingness is important to help patients seeking weight-loss treatment

A lot of people believe that people who wish to undergo weight loss are not as ready to make drastic lifestyle changes as required which again is a completely personal choice and generalizing the same on everyone may not hold good.

The truth is that weight loss and fat loss and two different things and a lot of people often confuse the same. The necessity or willingness to reduce weight must solely be based on the drivenness of the individual in need of weight loss. It must not be due to societal pressure or self-doubt but only as an attempt to keep oneself healthy and active in order to assure longevity and an active lifestyle in the long run.

What is breast cancer? It’s symptoms and treatment methods

Breast Cancer Awareness

 

 

Did you know being inactive, consuming alcohol and being overweight or obese can increase the risk of breast cancer? While many risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer, aging, and genetic mutations are not under our control there are factors that can be controlled to prevent the condition. Being physically active can help an individual maintain a healthy weight, which is important for women, especially after menopause as risks of getting breast cancer are higher. Studies have shown that breast cancer is common amongst women and claims many lives every year across the globe.

 

What is breast cancer?

When cells in the breasts start growing abnormally, the condition is known as breast cancer. The kind of cells affected is what determines the type of breast cancer. When cancer forms in the milk ducts it is known as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma(IDC) and causes lumps that can be easily felt. When it forms in lobules aka milk-producing glands, it is called Invasive Lobular Carcinoma(ILC) and is responsible for the thickening of the breasts.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Symptoms of breast cancer may vary from person to person, although it is advised to keep a regular check on some of the most common signs such as:

  • Redness or swelling in either of the breasts or both
  • Change in size or shape of one or both the breasts
  • Changes in the nipple in either one or both the breasts
  • An unusual discharge from the nipple
  • Any kind of pain that is felt most or almost all the time
  • Feeling of lumps on either of the breasts or both

Keeping a regular check on your breasts can help you know them better and make it easier for you to notice any changes occurring with age. If you notice any of these signs it is always good to visit a doctor at the earliest to rule out the possibilities of breast cancer or any other underlying condition.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

In case you have noticed some signs of breast cancer, your doctor can ask you to go for few tests for a proper diagnosis. Some of the most common tests are:

A mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breasts used to find out any lumps or abnormalities.

Breast ultrasound is usually suggested to people who have dense breasts as the lumps might not get detected using mammogram. Ultrasounds produce images of the inside of the breasts.

A biopsy involves taking a sample of tissue cells from the breasts with the use of a needle.

In case breast cancer is diagnosed, further tests such as CT- scans, X-Rays, and MRI might be needed to find out the areas affected by cancer or how far cancer has spread. Treatment methods of breast cancer are determined based on the stage and grade breast cancer is at.

What are commonly used treatment methods for breast cancer?

Breast cancer treatments are considered based on various factors such as the overall health of an individual, type, and stage of cancer and, in the case of women, whether they have experienced menopause. Few commonly used treatments are:

  • Breast-conserving surgery, where the tumor and surrounding tissue is removed depending on the type of cancer, the affected area, amount of surrounding tissue to be removed and size of the breasts.
  • Mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed along with the nipple. In case cancer has spread to the lymph node, a more extensive removal from under the arms might be needed.
  • Reconstruction, A new breast is created to make it look almost similar to the other breast by either a breast implant or tissues from other parts of the body.
  • Radiotherapy, where the radiations are used to kill the remaining cancer cells after a surgery or chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy, an anti-cancer medicine which is used to kill the cancer cells. It can be used before or after the surgery to control the number of cancerous cells present.
  • Hormone Treatment, used when breast cancer is stimulated by hormones. Using the therapy, hormone levels in the body are lowered to control the growth of breast cancer.

 

Dealing with cancer can be overwhelming for not just the patient but their family as well. It is always better to stay in touch with people to express your feelings and emotions. Being a part of the cancer survivors group can also help the patient feel motivated and build a positive perspective towards life.

Is stress the main cause of mental illness?

Mental Health

 

Mental health is a concept of paramount importance which is both prominent and rampant in our country. The outlook towards mental illness, mental health care has been quite unsubstantial when compared to general health care in our society however, the topic has gained tangible relevance in today’s day and age due its significant growth and awareness amongst people. As rare as it might appear to you, concerns related to mental illness are significantly present amongst people around you. The awareness or knowledge towards mental illness is what is lagging. However, various organizations and personalities have begun sharing and educating others regarding the same, breaking the existing silence upon such a pressing matter of one’s health.

Mental illness is an umbrella term for many types of psychological disorders and the causes of which can be due to several contributing factors under the psychological, socio-environmental, physiological, physical or familial history bracket. These illnesses cause mild to severe amount of disturbances in one’s thoughts or behavior which leads to a failure in coping with life’s everyday routine.

One of the main factors that have been found to have an exceptionally negative effect on one’s mental health to the extent which it could graduate into a mental illness or disorder is stress. Stress has boiled down to become one of the focal points of concern with regards to mental health. Stress caused by any form of trauma, loss, angst, anger, frustration, rejection, etc is found to have grave effects on one’s psyche and overall mental stability.

The most noticeable tendency that has been observed by researchers is that up to 30% of adolescents have experienced severe depression or mental breakdown at least once during their transition period from teenage to adulthood and up to 50-75% of adolescents have severe to mild cases of anxiety, impulse control and hyperactivity disorders, majority of which is generally developed during the teenage years.

Stress causes the secretion of a hormone called cortisol which is known to further affect another chemical called dopamine. Fluctuations in the dopamine levels have been observed in people suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and the likes.

Stress is a part of a teenager’s life and the onset of it could be caused by various factors such as:

  • Bullying

  • Unstable home environment

  • Obesity

  • Self-doubt/low self-esteem

  • Study/Peer pressure

 

As we gradually enter adolescence and adulthood, our lives go through a set of changes which further affect our mental state. As responsibilities and pressures increase, stress also increases and that extends to weakening the mental state of the person.

Some prominent symptoms of a mental illness are:

  • Confused thought process

  • Prolonged depression

  • Excessive fears, anxieties

  • Social withdrawal

  • Delusional thoughts

  • Self-pity

  • Self-harming tendency

  • Strong feelings of anger

 

The ways in which you could reduce and maintain a healthy mental health is by following some easy methods, however, it must begin with you being aware, acknowledging any form of stress and working towards healing yourself. These are some ways to cope with stress to reduce the chances of developing any mental illness:

Acceptance & Acknowledgement

It starts with you stopping any form of denial and accepting any strange feeling that you may have. Acknowledging that you have an issue is the first step towards healing.

Handling unusual behavior

Most illnesses or onset of any disorder begins with strange behavioral changes and you must try to pinpoint them and try to amend them whenever possible or necessary.

Support Network

Talk to your friends and family and seek support from them. Talking about how you feel can reduce the weight on your shoulders.

Seek Counseling

It is best to seek professional help to analyze and resolve any mental stress that you might be going through, instead of wallowing in pain or misery.

 

Your health, in general, is ordained by the way you treat it and your mental health is especially susceptible to events around you, both good and bad. Hence, keeping your mind agile, active and working towards a healthier lifestyle can lead to a serene and stress-free way of living for a better tomorrow.

Scratching an itching ear is not always a good thing. Here is why.

Most people experience an itching sensation in their ears from to time. Every time that happens, an irresistible urge to scratch them also comes along. Since ears are one of the most sensitive parts of the body, that might not always be a good idea. Scratching an itching ear only aggravates the situation, while providing only temporary relief!

There could be various reasons why one suffers from itchy ears. It important to take note of the cause, consult a doctor and take the necessary course of treatment, rather than scratching them.

Causes of an itching ear

Earwax buildup: Ear Wax helps keep the moisture level inside the ear optimal. It also helps push dirt and dead skin cells outside the ear. However too much or too little of it – both can cause an irritating and itchy feeling in the ears.

Infections: Ear infections caused by bacteria or virus can also lead to itchy ears. Also, when water stays in the ear for too long, the ear canal’s natural layer of defense against germs is disrupted, causing the itching. In both the situations, treating the underlying cause is imperative.

Food allergies: The ears start to itch after eating certain foods that one might be allergic to. However, the feeling passes away after the food is swallowed, or taken out of the mouth.

Skin allergies: Due to an allergic reaction, the skin inside the ear may get affected. The allergy could be because of skin or hair care products, or jewellery that might not suit your skin. Contact dermatitis is also one of the reasons for itchy ears – when you put infected things in your ears – like earplugs, buds etc., causing a rash.

Abnormal skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis: Itchy ear canals may follow certain abnormal skin conditions. However, this can easily be treated with ear drops.

Why scratching itching ears is harmful?

Scratching an itching ear or poking sharp objects to control the itch may be tempting, but they can be damaging so much so that you could break the tiny bones inside the ear that help you hear, and become deaf. Once the inner ear becomes damaged, it takes an expensive surgery to repair it.

Too much scratching can also push the ear wax deeper inside, where it gets stuck. The best way is to use ear drops that help melt the wax, or take over the counter medication that treats the cause which is the reason for the discomfort in the first place. Moreover scratching the skin inside the ears accidentally would make it easier for bacteria to enter and make the situation worse! If the itching persists, best would be to see your doctor.

Preventing itching ears

Take care of your ears to prevent this prickly feeling that is highly uncomfortable. Protect your ears from excessive moisture, and use shampoos and shower gels formulated for sensitive skin. Be gentle when inserting things in your ear, whether it is earphones to listen to music or earbuds to clean them.

Most times itching ears may have no significant cause, so your doctor might just prescribe you medication to stop the urge to scratch!

Know these Signs of Job Burnout and Prevent It

Ask yourself:

  • Am I becoming impatient with my colleagues and clients?

  • Am I not satisfied with my work and the outcomes?

  • Do I lack the energy to get started with work every morning?

  • Am I dragging myself to work every day?

  • Have my sleeping and eating habits changed?

  • Am I constantly complaining about headaches, backache, and other physical issues?

If your answer to most of the above questions is YES, know that you are showing signs of a job burnout and there is an immediate need to acknowledge it.  You need to consult your doctor to check if your job is causing depression or there are any underlying conditions making you feel so.

Globally, WHO says that around 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of suicide among people aged between 15-29. When left unaddressed, job burnout can have consequences such as increased stress, feeling of depression, high cholesterol, obesity and make an individual vulnerable to various illnesses.

What leads to Job Burnout?

  • Lack of resources at work can cause an individual to overwork. It can make a person’s life more stressful and depressing.

  • Unclear job roles often lead to confusion at work. This, in turn, can affect the performance of an employee resulting in anxiety.

  • Unstructured organisations where a person is either a sole decision maker or is micromanaged by a boss. This can make employees feel stressed especially dues to lack of proper support & encouragement.

  • Too much or too less, when the job is either too boring or has a lot of chaos. In such cases, employees feel discouraged and disappointed.

  • Inability to have a work-life balance can make an individual feel exhausted, agitated and stressed out.

  • Lack of a social life can lead to depression. Social support plays an important role in the mental well-being of a person. Being connected to people means there are people who will listen when a person is extremely stressed out and needs an ear to vent.

While these are some of the common causes, regret from only working and missing out on personal life is known to cause depression later in life. Such instances cause people to lose their spirit and makes them feel dejected. In such cases, it becomes difficult to cope with work and day-to-day life.

How can we prevent it?

When identified, job burnout needs to be addressed seriously to ensure it doesn’t become a hindrance between you and your goals. Few of the ways to handle it are:

  • Manage stressors leading to a job burnout so that you can address the issues both at work and in life to avoid stress buildup.

  • Show gratitude, especially when you are feeling impatient with the people around you. This can help you have an open attitude to seek help whenever needed.

  • Exercise regularly even if it is easier said than done. Try giving 30 minutes of your time to exercise, it can be as small as taking the stairs at work or walking back home.

  • Eat healthy so that your body is getting the right nutrients when you are under pressure. Certain foods help lift your mood, fight depression and keep your body strong.

  • Do something you like even if it is for just 10 minutes. If you like to sing grab every opportunity to do so.

  • Find the right place that makes you feel motivated and keeps you happy even when you are logging in more hours each day. Ensuring your skills and interests lie in your workplace can bring a positive attitude.

These tips can not only help you when you are suffering from a job burnout but also help you lead a life which is much happier and healthier. Always remember seeking out help, staying connected with people as well as nature and eating right are the pillars of living a stress-free life.

Hormonal Imbalance? Is your diet to blame?

Hormones are an integral part of the human body and are known to be the body’s chemical carriers that are produced in the endocrine glands into the body’s bloodstream. Hormones are responsible for various major processes such as reproduction, mood management, sexual function, hair growth, and metabolism to name a few. An imbalance of any kind of hormone can disrupt many processes causing damage depending on the severity of the imbalance. Spikes in hormonal activity in your body might be caused due to various factors such as age, stress, puberty, and pregnancy. However, a serious distortion of the level of hormones can cause serious damage to the overall body.

   Your diet and consumption can also have an immense effect on your hormonal balance and may stand responsible for either raising or lowering the natural levels causing a dramatic change in your body. You may have heard of the quote “You are what you eat.” and that fits accurately in this context. Your food habits can either help or disrupt the flow of hormones in your body which is further responsible for maintaining several major bodily processes.

Your body can be negatively affected due to any kind of hormonal imbalance and the following are the causes of hormonal imbalance:

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes

  • Eating disorders

  • Anxiety and stress

  • Tumors of any kind

Apart from these causes, polycystic ovarian syndrome/disorder, menopause, and pregnancy can increase the risk of causing hormonal imbalance in women.

Here’s a brief guide to help you understand how some of the foods that appear to be harmless can be extremely disruptive in your hormonal balance. Having the foods mentioned below is perfectly alright, however, moderation in the consumption of the same is highly recommended.

Sugar

Generally, most diets have a similar rule of thumb, that being: Stay away from white foods! This may not apply 100% to everyone but it does make a valid point. Sugar, in particular, is dangerous as it tends to spike the insulin levels in your body and a high sugar-rich diet is likely to increase your resistance towards it resulting in the disturbance in other bodily processes.

Processed & Preservative Foods

Most foods are prepared and cured for easy access and usability. The foods that we consume regularly are laden with different chemicals and preservatives. If you think hard enough, you’d realize that the number of chemicals used to preserve a ‘fresh’ food is ludicrous! Consuming so many chemicals will only disturb the natural flow of hormones in your body.

Factory Farmed Poultry Products

It is essential to know where your food comes from and that is exactly how you would know if deems fit for consumption. Animals reared in regular husbandries usually follow chemical methods to impregnate animals, inject steroids and other growth hormones to produce mass production. This can aggravate your hormone levels as well. Shifting to an organic product is a better option in case your dietary habits involve consumption of animal meat or products.

Dairy Products

Not many people realise that they are lactose intolerant. Dairy products often contain bovine growth hormones, antibiotic residue and other variants of artificial chemicals which can cause irritation in the gut, inflammation, diarrhea. It also aids in causing acne and other skin irritation which is directly linked to one’s hormonal disbalance.

There are several foods that can help your body maintain or improve hormonal balance such as green tea, lean meat/proteins, flax seeds, soya, fatty fishes, avocados etc.

It is imperative that you know what you eat and comprehend the ways in which it is likely to affect or disrupt your bodily functions. Knowing the properties and qualities of your food can help you reduce, alter and improve your eating habits. It can also help in making your body less prone to damage or wear and tear, furthermore helping you stay healthy and fit.

Is loss of sleep affecting your productivity?

The amount of sleep a person needs depends on many factors – age, lifestyle, stress levels etc. While infants require 14-17 hours of sleep in a day, most adults can do with as less as 6 hours of sleep. Women in the first three months of pregnancy also might need more sleep than usual. One can feel drowsy or bored during the day due to several reasons, but if it is due to sleep deprivation then this does not just affects daily productivity, but can also hamper several bodily functions.

Sleep debt

Sleep deprivation is definitely dangerous. Many studies have proven that a sleep-deprived person performs as poorly in his tasks as an intoxicated person. Sleep debt can affect sex life, memory, health, looks and much more. Here are some of the hazardous consequences of loss of sleep which is why you cannot afford to take your sleep time for granted:

  • Productivity: During sleep, while the body rests, our brain is busy processing information from the day and forming memories. This stage is crucial for the brain’s ability to learn and remember. A sleepless brain can become foggy and will lead to impaired judgement. This, in turn, hinders fine motor skills which affect productivity and disrupt daily tasks.

  • Anxiety and depression: The body rests and recharges while one sleeps. So inadequate sleep might lead to mood swings and a feeling of melancholy. The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has been linked with depression since ages so much so that insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.

  • High risk of illnesses: Lack of proper sleep acts as a catalyst for the weakening of your immune system, increasing chances of becoming sick. Hence the person is put at a greater risk of developing a number of serious health problems, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

  • Causes accidents and even death: Sleeplessness magnifies alcohol’s effect on the body. So when a person is sleep deprived and drinks,  it causes accidents more often than one might think. Also, drowsiness is the brain’s lasts step before falling asleep and driving while drowsy in most cases is a big public safety hazard.

  • Affects the way you look: Dull skin and puffy eyes come as no surprise after a few nights of missed sleep. Chronic sleep loss can lead to lacklustre skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes which can be hard to get rid of. Sound, uninterrupted sleep is not called beauty sleep for no reason!

  • Weight gain – Lack of sleep has been related to an increase in hunger and appetite according to many studies. Sleep loss appears to stimulate appetite, especially cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. This has often given way to obesity!

Sleeping is like medicine for the body. Once you stop taking it in the right quantity, the results are serious and sometimes even shocking. Better to be safe than sorry and take sleep time seriously henceforth!

Ovarian Cancer – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Did you know the risk of ovarian cancer increases with age and going to your obstetrician-gynecologist is not enough to detect cancer? The reproductive changes that women go through such as their first pregnancy, the onset of periods or even menopause are considered are some of the important risk factors for ovarian cancer. Diagnosis of ovarian cancer requires certain tests or procedures which will be used to determine the stage at which cancer is at.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected as there are no screening tests known to detect cancer until it is big enough to be seen. In most of the cases, it remains unidentified until cancer spreads to pelvis or abdomen where it becomes fatal. There are different types of ovarian cancer depending upon the type of cell where it develops:

  1. Epithelial Tumor which begins in a thin layer that covers the outside of the ovaries.

  2. Stromal Tumor which begins in ovarian tissue responsible for hormone-producing cells.

  3. Germ Cell Tumors are the rare type which occurs mostly at a younger age in the egg-producing cells.

Epithelial tumors are detected in 90% of ovarian cancer cases whereas 7% are stromal tumors.

Symptoms often mistaken for other benign conditions

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken for other conditions and left untreated. Here are few of the symptoms which should not be ignored especially if you have a family history of cancer:

  • Swelling of Abdomen or bloating

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Feeling full

  • Increased frequency of urination

  • Changes in bowel movement

  • A feeling of discomfort in the pelvic region

What causes ovarian cancer?

The definite causes of ovarian cancer are still unknown. Cancer generally begins when there are mutations in DNA that signal cells to grow quickly leading to a tumor of abnormal cells. This abnormal cell growth causes the healthy cells to die.

Ovarian cancer can occur in case the gene mutation is inherited from parents or if one has a family history of ovarian or breast cancer. In case an estrogen hormone replacement therapy has been done for a longer term, the risk of ovarian cancer increases.

What are the treatment methods for ovarian cancer?

There are various surgeries depending on the stage and type which can be combined with chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer. Some of the surgeries include:

  1. Removal of one of the ovaries

When cancer has developed in one of the ovaries, it can be treated by removing the ovary and its fallopian tube allowing the patient to be able to conceive.

  1. Removal of both the ovaries

When cancer is detected in both the ovaries, the surgeon would remove both the ovaries along with the fallopian tubes. This surgery leaves the uterus intact allowing the patient to conceive using frozen embryo or eggs from a donor.

  1. Removal of ovaries and uterus

When cancer has reached an advanced stage, the surgeon will remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus along with nearby lymph node to prevent it from spreading further.

  1. Chemotherapy

When cancer reaches a much more advanced stage, chemotherapy is suggested along with a surgery to remove as much of cancer as possible.

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that involves chemicals which are taken by mouth or injected into a vein to kill the fast-growing cells including that of cancer. It can even be used after a surgery to ensure that the body is free from any type of cancer cells.

When cancer resists all other kinds of treatment, Targeted Therapy can be used to treat vulnerabilities present within cancer cells. Cancer cells are tested first to determine the type of targeted therapy to be used for an effective treatment.

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it can be hard to cope up with the feelings. Ensure you talk to people about your feelings or read more about people who have been cancer survivors, such as Manisha Koirala, and are leading a normal life. Be open to asking for help whenever needed and take time for yourself to overcome the fatigue of cancer.