If you are experiencing any pelvic painback painbloatingchanges in bathroom habits, or feeling full quickly while eating then you should immediately go to a gynecologist. These are the 4 most commonly reported symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer, in simple terms, is cancer that forms in the tissues of an ovary. There are 2 types of ovarian cancers: 1) ovarian epithelia (which constitutes 90% of ovarian cancer), and 2) germ cells.

Ovarian epithelia begin in the cells on the surface of the ovary whereas germ cell tumors derive from egg cells. Germ cell tumors are very rare, and within this type of cancer, there are several subcategories, one of which is called Immature Teratoma. The involvement of the second ovary is usually rare, so this type of ovarian cancer usually affects only one ovary.

If one is affected with this type of ovarian cancer, treatment is usually an operation whereby the ovary affected is removed. Now when the tumor is removed, it is sent to a lab where the pathologist determines the Grade of the cancer. The Grade, refers to the aggressiveness of the cancerous cell. There are three different Grade levels, Grade I being least aggressive and Grade III being the most. The Grade level in combination with the stage determines whether the patient needs chemotherapy or not.

In my case, it was Grade III stage 1.  Given that its high-grade and given the scarcity of scientific studies on this type of cancer (considering it is a rare type of cancer), chemotherapy is needed to prevent it from recurring. It is like buying an insurance policy!

My BEP (Bleomycin, Etoposide & Cisplatin) chemotherapy treatment was based on 3 cycles, each cycle consisted of 5 consecutive days (Monday through Friday), followed by a session every Friday (for 2 weeks). I was getting the Etoposide & Cisplatin on the 5 consecutive days only, and the Bleomycin on Fridays. Each treatment day lasts around 4 hours, whereas the days where I had only the Bleomycin, the sessions lasted for around 30 minutes.


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