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Ovarian Cancer is Often Overlooked, Undiagnosed, and a Silent Killer

Dr. Vahora, MD, FACOG

Ovarian CancerOvarian Cancer has a reputation of going unnoticed until the disease state is advanced, and it commonly causes death due to the late diagnosis; that is why it is widely known as the “silent killer.” If left untreated, ovarian cancer rapidly grows and spreads into the abdominal and pelvic areas. Today, we’re able to diagnose the initial onset of these symptoms better, as we now know that most of them are directly related to ovarian and reproductive cancers and disorders. However, the key is to make certain that women who are experiencing any of these symptoms go to their physician immediately to be tested.

Ovarian Cancer Signs & Symptoms:
• Bloating
• Pelvic discomfort
• Abdominal pain
• Trouble eating
• Feeling full quickly
• Urinary urgency or frequency
• Constipation
• Nausea
• Painful intercourse
• Heart Burn
• Fatigue
• Irregular menstrual cycles

Are you at Risk?
Due to their rapid growth, if you ‘ve got one or more of the symptoms mentioned above that do not subside, you must seek medical attention quickly. Reproductive cancers can be linked to a hereditary genetic mutation called BRCA; this includes breast cancer as well. Although a high percentage of ovarian cancers are genetically passed down, many women with no family history are also at risk for developing ovarian cancer. Lynch Syndrome is also a genetically inherited syndrome that causes various cancers, including bowel, endometrial, and ovarian, as well as other cancerous conditions like colon, stomach and uterine cancers.

How do You Know if You’re at Risk?
These are the Most Common Risk Factors:
• Genetics (BRCA1 and BRCA2)
• Family History
• Personal history of cancer
• Endometriosis
• Ovarian cysts
• Reproductive issues
• Infertility
• Hormone replacement therapy
• Being overweight
• Hormonal Imbalance
• Lynch Syndrome

Hereditary Risks
According to the National Cancer Institute (NIH), “A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.

About 1.3% of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives (1). By contrast, it is estimated that about 44% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and about 17% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by the age of 80 (2).”

Testing and Diagnosis
The most common diagnostic testing involves a gynecological examination, transvaginal ultrasound, blood tests for the antigen CA-125 (detects cancer cells), and genetic testing for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations

Genetic testing is a cutting-edge medical technique that looks at your unique genetic makeup, and that can be used to see how your DNA might shape your health over the course of your life. A sample of DNA is collected—typically with a small sample of blood or saliva—then analyzed in a lab to look for evidence of genetic disorders or vulnerabilities to some diseases. For example, people with specific gene mutations might develop some cancers earlier in life, or at a higher rate, than the general population. This is precisely the case with BRCA mutations.

Parveen Vahora, M.D., FACOG, a Board-Certified Gynecologist offers genetic testing in the comfort of her office for her patients. A sample of DNA is collected and analyzed in a lab to look for evidence of genetic disorders or vulnerabilities of specific diseases. The information gathered from genetic testing is a powerful tool that can help Dr. Vahora tailor medical care and treatment just for you.

Dr. Vahora’s Risk panel includes BRCA 1&2, lynch genes and others that can put you at risk for ovarian, breast and or uterine and colon cancer. Hormone therapy may not be indicated if you are a carrier if these genes or if you have a family history of cancer or have had cancer.

What if I’m BRCA Positive or Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer?
If you are positive for a BRCA mutation, or if you have an ovarian cancer diagnosis, Dr. Vahora will work directly with you to discuss the possibility of having an oophorectomy on one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, or a full hysterectomy. These precautionary surgeries will reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by approximately 90% and breast cancer by 50%.

Surgical Menopause and Your Options
If you have your ovaries removed or a hysterectomy, your hormones will become even more imbalanced, but there are options to treat with either standard hormones or bioidentical hormones.

Although, hormone therapy is used to treat vaginal vulvar atrophy, unfortunately, sometimes it does not work for VVA and dyspareunia (painful intercourse). There is a better way! If your hormone therapy does not improve your vaginal issues, an advanced technique that has helped countless women is available.

Mona Lisa Touch® is an advanced procedure the revitalizes the vagina and makes it feel like a younger vagina. For countless women and their partners, it has turned back the clock of time.

This advanced technology is called the MonaLisa Touch®. It is a new laser therapy for the vagina and vulvar. There are no medications, not cutting and no lengthy healing times with this procedure. It’s similar to having a basic Pap smear test done. The laser does not hurt or cause any pain. You will only feel tiny vibrating sensations from the machine, and the best part is that the entire procedure is accomplished in an outpatient, office setting.

The laser assists with the bodies cell renewal and will regenerate the mucous membrane and help with the restoration of collagen and renewing the proper trophic balance to the membrane.

Now it’s possible to have relief from vaginal and vulvar atrophy due to the MonaLisa Touch’s® ability to gently improve the tissue of the vaginal mucosa. The laser stimulates the production of collagen, improving the functionality of the treated area and restoring the proper trophic balance to the mucous membrane.

If you are concerned about your genetic mutations and cancer risks, Dr. Vahora is now offering genetic testing for women with a family history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer, and also for men who may have personal or family history of colon, stomach, prostate, or stomach cancer. Please follow this link for a quiz on your genetic risk factors, https://www.hereditarycancerquiz.com/
vahoramd

Dr. Vahora is an expert on reproductive cancer diagnosis, sexual health and intimacy; please contact her to schedule a consultation. Call today to schedule your consultation at (727) 376-1536.

YOU’RE INVITED! Dr. Vahora Presents:
Your Cancer Risks: Hereditary Testing and Advanced Treatments are Changing the Way we Personalize Care for Women & Men.

ON-SITE GENETIC TESTING AVAILABLE
Thursday, September 13th 2018 | 5PM – 7PM
New Port Richey Surgery Center At Trinity
9332 State Road 54, Ste. 100, Trinity, FL 34655

RSVP
Limited Seating—Please call

727-376-1536
Info@ParveenVahoraMD.com
www.ParveenVahoraMD.com 

References:
1. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer
Statistics Review, 1975-2014, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/, based on November 2016 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2017.
2. Kuchenbaecker KB, Hopper JL, Barnes DR, et al. Risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. JAMA 2017; 317(23):2402-2416.

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