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  • decodeMR Team

Confronting the Silent Killer: Ovarian Cancer: Q & A Session with an Expert

Episode summary

Inline is back with another in-depth discussion!

This month, we feature a special episode on ovarian cancer, with insights from Dr. Richi Khandelwal, a renowned gynecological oncologist at Medanta Hospital in India.

Ovarian cancer is a silent threat to women's health, characterized by subtle and often overlooked symptoms. In this episode, Dr. Khandelwal discusses the early triggers and symptoms of ovarian cancer, emphasizing the importance of recognizing signs such as persistent abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, and early satiety. She highlights the critical risk factors, including age, family history, genetic mutations, reproductive history, hormone replacement therapy, endometriosis, obesity, and infertility treatments.

But fear not! She also shares preventive measures, treatment options, and fertility preservation strategies, addressing the impact of ovarian cancer on fertility. Additionally, she offers advice for survivors on overcoming post-treatment challenges and reducing cancer risk through understanding family history and maintaining a healthy weight.

Key Discussion Points:

  1. Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer (1:15)

  • Persistent abdominal bloating or swelling

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

  • Urinary symptoms like increased frequency or urgency

  • Changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, back pain, and menstrual changes

2. Risk Factors (2:57)

  • Age, particularly post-menopause

  • Family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer

  • Genetic mutations (e.g., BRCA1 and BRCA2)

  • Reproductive history and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

  • Endometriosis, obesity, and infertility treatments.

3. Preventive Measures (4:27)

  • Regular screening for high-risk women

  • Genetic testing for those with a strong family history

  • Awareness and early medical consultation

4. Self-Advocacy for Women (6:41)

  • Educate yourself and track symptoms

  • Seek early medical attention and second opinions if necessary

  • Ask for specific tests and communicate family history to healthcare providers

5. Treatment Options (9:06)

  • Surgery for early-stage ovarian cancer

  • Chemotherapy and targeted therapy for advanced stages

  • Importance of consulting a gynecological oncologist for a tailored treatment plan

6. Fertility Preservation (10:44)

  • Options like egg or embryo freezing, ovarian tissue freezing, and fertility-sparing surgeries

  • Consulting with fertility specialists before undergoing treatment

7. Post-Treatment Challenges (13:57)

  • Managing physical issues (e.g., fatigue, neuropathy), emotional and psychological health, hormonal changes, and social issues (e.g., financial concerns)

  • Developing a comprehensive post-treatment care plan

8. Reducing Risk of Ovarian Cancer (16:18)

  • Understanding family history and genetic risks

  • Considering reproductive choices and maintaining a healthy weight

  • Regular medical checkups, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking

Take Home Messages:

  • Recognize early symptoms and seek medical advice promptly.

  • Understand your risk factors and discuss preventive measures with your doctor.

  • Advocate for your health by staying informed and proactive.

  • Consider fertility preservation options if undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.

  • Develop a comprehensive care plan to manage post-treatment challenges.

About Dr. Richi Khandelwal:

Dr. Richi Khandelwal stands as a highly qualified and distinguished medical professional, being one of the few superspecialist M.Ch Gynecological Oncologists in the country. She is a gold medalist and is renowned for her expertise as a women's cancer specialist. She is known for her surgical prowess, having performed numerous complex laparoscopic, open, and robotic procedures for both benign and cancerous conditions. Her contributions to the medical field have been widely recognized, earning her multiple awards on both national and international stages. Beyond her professional achievements, Dr. Khandelwal is deeply respected for her compassionate and humanitarian approach to patient care.

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