The existence of cysts in the ovaries are a given. Cysts are almost as much a part of being a woman as the menstrual cycle itself. Cysts form in the ovary during the development of the egg cell, and at any given time of your life as a woman, you will likely have a functional cyst in your ovaries. These are generally small, benign, and will resolve themselves without any outside help. However, these small cysts can – and often will - turn into a problem if (or when) they develop into large cysts on ovaries.
What are the Types of Large Cysts on Ovaries?
There are types of large cysts on ovaries that have different histories or causes, such as dermoid cysts, which come from non-differentiated cells that can develop into fully mature tissues like teeth, eyes, skin, hair, and so on; endometrionoma, or when the uterine cells start growing outside the uterus and grow on the ovaries; and cystadenomas that come from neoplastic materials, or abnormal cells. Large cysts on ovaries, therefore, are complex and can only be removed through surgery in most cases.
How Large is 'Large' Cysts on Ovaries?
Generally, in order to be classified as large cysts on ovaries, cysts must reach at least six centimeters, or two inches in diameter to be of medical concern. Cysts smaller than that will, of course, still be monitored to see if they will grow bigger, but until they reach the said size, surgery is not really an option.
The sizes of large cysts on ovaries, if left unchecked, can grow up to twelve inches in diameter. Aside from the complications that the sheer size of large cysts on ovaries can cause, there are also concerns about the risk of cancer, as well. These large cysts on ovaries are very painful because of their tendency to twist into themselves, a condition known as 'torque'. There is also the pressure of its bulk that builds up inside the body against other soft tissues or nearby organs; thus, obstructing normal bodily processes. The risk of cancer is apparent in large cysts on ovaries because of its propensity to grow and develop from abnormal tissues.
What to Do with Large Cysts on Ovaries?
With surgery being the most viable course of action in the treatment of large cysts on ovaries, a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, including age, habits, and genetics (to name a few) are done, as well as the growth and content of the cyst itself. This is done through a series of examinations, including physical exams, blood exams, ultrasound, and tissue sampling – all with the hope of determining if surgery really is necessary, or if other less invasive options are available, and even if it's safe to leave it alone completely.
Whatever the case, remember that it's always best to err on the side of caution and consult your doctor to find out for sure. When it comes to large cysts on ovaries, taking chances is simply not an option.
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