Ovarian cancer is a malignancy of the ovaries, which are a part of a woman's reproductive system that release female hormones and eggs during ovulation. Ovarian cysts can also occur, but they are usually not cancerous. Ovarian cancer, when it develops, can spread or "metastasize" to other organs.
There are certain risk factors for ovarian cancer. One is a family history of ovarian or breast cancers. If a woman has a mother, sister, aunt, or daughter with ovarian cancer, she is more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Women with a personal or family history of other forms of cancer may also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Some other risk factors include age (most women are over the age of 55 when diagnosed), never having become pregnant, and using hormone therapy to treat menopause.
A woman suffering from ovarian cancer may experience constant fatigue; a swollen abdomen; pain in the pelvis, back, legs, or abdomen; stomach problems, including gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and indigestion; bladder problems; as well as abnormal menstruation and bleeding.
Proper diagnosis of ovarian cancer may require any of the following: a physical exam, blood tests (including a CA 125 test, which is a tumor marker for ovarian cancer), a biopsy, an ultrasound, and a laparoscopic evaluation. Once ovarian cancer is diagnosed, additional tests may be performed to see if the cancer has spread.
Once ovarian cancer is diagnosed, there are several courses of treatment which may be recommended. The most common course of treatment is a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Sometimes, radiation therapy is also required.
Early detection is important to the successful treatment of ovarian cancer. If diagnostic testing is not timely ordered, or, if ordered, the results are misinterpreted, a patient may be subjected to delayed treatment, allowing the disease process to progress; worsening the prognosis or anticipated outcome of treatment.
Women who are victims of medical malpractice in New Jersey, such as in the case of a delayed diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and their families, may be entitled to recover damages from those medical professionals and institutions whose care may have been negligent. Those damages could include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of services, and disability.
Do you or a loved one feel that your ovarian cancer was not properly diagnosed? Our firm has decades of experience representing victims of a delayed diagnosis of ovarian and other cancers. Our team includes well-trained medical professionals that will help evaluate your potential claim to see if the correct diagnostic testing was considered. Contact the New Jersey cancer attorneys at Blume Forte for a no-cost consultation to determine if you may have a valid claim. Call us at (973) 635-5400.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.