Your ovaries are important organs in your reproductive system. They secrete important hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that keep your hormones balanced and healthy. Ovarian cancer can form in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the membrane lining the pelvis and abdomen. In 2005 alone 22,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 16,000 women died in that same year. Why do women develop this kind of cancer? What can we do to bring those numbers down?
There are several types of ovarian tumors:
Epithelial Ovarian Tumor: This cancer develops in the cells that cover the outside of the ovaries. It is the most common type of cancer.
Stromal Tumors: This uncommon ovarian cancer develops in the connective tissue that hold the ovary together. This is the area of the ovarian tissue that is responsible for the production of the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones.
Germ Cell Tumors: Cancer cells develop in the egg producing cells of the ovary. This cancer accounts for about 3 percent of ovarian tumors.
Familial Tumors: This cancer is caused by inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Familial tumors make up from 5 to 10 percent of the total ovarian cancers.
How Ovarian Cancer Spreads: Cancer cells spread from the ovaries to the bladder, bowel, and lymph nodes. The cancer has few side effects in the early stages, which means that the cancer is usually in the advanced stage before it is diagnosed. The rate of this kind of cancer has not increased but 16,000 women dying a year is tragic. Since there are few symptoms what can we do to prevent this cancer? We need to know what risk factors lead to the development of this cancer.
Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer:
Family History of Ovarian Cancer: Your risk factor is much higher for developing the disease.
Menopause: Most ovarian cancer develops after menopause.
Hormone Therapy: Women who receive estrogen or estrogen/progesterone hormone treatment have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. This came from a study of 910,000 women in Denmark. This was published in the July 15Th, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Women Never Pregnant: Risks are higher for women who have not conceived children or who are infertile.
Personal History of Breast Cancer: History of prior breast cancer and testing positive for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation increases your risk significantly.
Talc Powder: This personal care product is known to increase your risk factor when applied to the vaginal tissues.
Lifestyle Habits that Help Prevent Ovarian Cancer:
Stop Smoking: raises your risk for all types of cancer.
Keep Alcohol Consumption Low: More than one drink per day increases the risk factor.
Exercise: Obesity raises the risk for ovarian cancer. Exercise stimulates immune function; helps balance out hormones and excess estrogen; helps keep glucose levels in balance; and help to reduce excess weight.
Improve Your Diet: Adopt a low fat diet including organic whole grains, organic fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic meat.
Reduce Caffeine: Drinking coffee, sofa, and other caffeine promoting drinks stimulates your body to produce excess estrogen and cortisol. Cortisol in excess increases fat storage in the stomach.
Reduce Stress: When your stress level is chronically severe it stimulates too much estrogen and cortisol resulting in hormonal imbalance. Stress affects your immune function, hormonal system, and thyroid function which increases your risk for cancer and other diseases. Stress is a killer of the immune system.
Cut out Dairy Products: Unless you buy organic milk, it is felt by experts that dairy products contain estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are fed to the cattle to encourage the animals to put on weight so they can be sold sooner. The residues of these hormones in our milk feed the problem of estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance. Ovarian cancer is due in part to hormonal imbalance.
Herbs and NutrientsThat Research Shows As Beneficial:
Green and Black Tea: Studies are showing that drinking just one cup of green or black tea lowers your risk for ovarian cancer by 24%. Drinking two cups lowers the risk by 46%. That is significant.
Curcumin: Lab studies in Europe and India show it inhibits the growth of human ovarian cancer cells. This has also been proved in cellular studies as well. Curcumin is used in countries like India to treat cancer, inflammation, and knee pain.
Ginkgo Biloba: Research from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston showed ginkgo lowered the risk for ovarian cancer by 60 per cent. Ginkgo does thin the blood so it should not be taken with blood thinning drugs or two weeks before having surgery.
Agaricus Blazei Murill Kyowa: medicinal mushroom extract that has been shown to relieve chemotherapy side effects. Its been used in Japan by doctors for 20 years
Vitamin A : Inhibits the growth of several kinds of tumors. Women who are low on Vitamin A are more at risk for developing several kinds of cancers including ovarian cancer.
Vitamins D : Inhibits growth of ovarian cancer cells. The effect was significant.
Vitamin C and E : Low levels of these vitamins increase your risk for this cancer
Overall Poor Health, Lifestyle, and Diet:
If your body is nutritionally deficient from a bad diet or other factors, your immune function may become compromised putting you at risk for developing cancer and other diseases. It is especially important for those with genetic factors, to make sure they are living their lives as healthy as possible. Lifestyle changes can lower your risk for this and most cancers.
Disclaimer: The FDA and AMA have not approved the contents of this article. This article is for education only. It is not meant to be used to prevent, treat, or prescribe for any illness. Get the permission from your doctor for any supplement that you take. There are interactions between herbs and drugs so be aware of that.
Published by Kate Freer
Copyright: Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin; All rights are protected on this article. You do not have permission to use this article or its contents without my express permission.
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