Gynaecologist: Most ovarian cysts are not cancerous

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A gynaecologist with Mothercare Hospital, Dr. Solomon Anoti, said on Thursday that most ovarian cysts are not cancerous.

Anoti disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

He explained that ovarian cysts were closed sac-like structures within the ovary filled with a liquid or semi-solid substance.

He said that the ovary was one of a pair of reproductive glands in women that were located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.

“Each ovary is about the size and shape of a walnut,’’ he said.

According to him, most ovarian cysts are not due to cancer and having an ovarian cyst does not cause ovarian cancer.

Anoti said that ovarian cancer was rare in women younger than age 40.

“After age 40, an ovarian cyst has a higher chance of being cancerous than before age 40, although most ovarian cysts were still benign even after age 40.

He however said that some ovarian cancers develop cystic areas inside the tumor.

“Ovarian cancer is much less common than benign ovarian cysts,’’ he said.

He further explained that ovarian cysts may not cause signs or symptoms but larger cysts were likely to cause signs such as pain in the abdomen, pelvis, sometimes radiating to the low back.

He said that most ovarian cysts were never noticed and resolve without women ever realising that they were there.

”If the cyst has reached a large size, other symptoms like low back pain, indigestion, urinary urgency, abdominal fullness among others may arise as a result of pressure or distortion of adjacent anatomical structures.

”There is no known way to prevent the development of ovarian cysts, however, sometimes a ruptured ovarian cyst can lead to severe pain and internal bleeding.

”The pain with a ruptured ovarian cyst typically comes on suddenly and occurs on one side only.

”Ovarian cysts may develop during pregnancy or at any point in a woman’s life. Some kinds of ovarian cysts are related to the menstrual cycle and occur before a woman has reached menopause.

”Most ovarian cysts in women of childbearing age are follicular or corpus luteum cysts (functional cysts) that disappear naturally in one to three months, although they can rupture and cause pain,” he said.

Anoti said that all women have follicular cysts at some point that generally go unnoticed and therefore urged women to go for routine medical checkup.

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