Here's a crucial thing that a woman should know: if she has a cyst on her ovaries, it does not necessarily mean that she already has a cancerous cyst on ovaries. In fact, a woman who has developed a benign ovarian cyst as opposed to one who has never had one has a fairly equal chance of getting a cancerous cyst on ovaries. The chance that that will happen, all in all, is very unlikely.
In women below 30 years old, the possibility of having a cancerous cyst on ovaries is about 1 in every 15,000. For those who are over 30, the possibility rises to 1 in 10,000. In post menopausal women over 60, it is a whopping 1 in 1,500.
What is a cancerous cyst on ovaries?
There are two general types of cysts in any part of the body, including the ovaries: the benign cysts (non-cancerous) and the malignant cysts (cancerous). Specifically, cysts which may become a cancerous cyst on ovaries are divided into three classifications: the dermoid cyst, the cystadenomas, and the endometrionomas. Of these three, the latter two are of more concern.
A cancerous cyst on ovaries is often formed by neoplastic tissues, or tissues that grow much faster without limits than the original tissue from which they came from. Dermoid cysts, on the other hand, are already fully developed tissues and will likely stop growing at a certain point; thus, minimizing the chance of it becoming a cancerous cyst on ovaries.
Cystadenomas and endometrionomas are another matter. Both are made from neoplasmic cells, which invade the ovaries from the outside, and both have the characteristic “unlimited” growth rate that is a prerequisite of cancer.
How to find out if the cysts are cancerous
A test called the CA125 test (CA means cancer antigen) is one that looks for the cancer “marker” in the blood, and is a useful tool in detecting a cancerous cyst on ovaries. It is, however, not a stand alone diagnostic tool, as it may give out “false positive” results. Still, the CA125 is the cancer protein that is found in highest concentrations in ovarian cancers. The best way to know if a woman has cancerous cyst on ovaries would be to get a sample for testing, or to remove the cyst altogether.
Watch and Wait
Early detection of the cancerous cyst on ovaries is very important as the success of the treatment will likely hinge on how soon the cyst can be treated. But since the likelihood that the cyst is cancerous is very low, a “watch and wait” attitude is not thought to be a risky course of action. It is, however, best to consult with a specialist – or two! - who can give you the proper guidance you deserve.
Although a cyst doesn't necessarily mean that you have a cancerous cyst on ovaries, it is still in your best interests to know as much as you can about your condition. Being well-informed is being responsible for your health and well-being.
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