Women and Men’s Health: Ovarian Cancer

Introduction

The concept of health can be understood as the body’s capacity to function as intended. This includes having the right structures whose function is not impaired. The implication is that ill health results in the body structures having impaired function so that physical and/or mental function is curtailed (Arcangelo et al., 2017). The present paper presents a discussion on ovarian cancer to further the understanding of ill health, particularly available preventive services and treatment Women and Men’s Health: Ovarian Cancer.

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Describe available preventive services that providers might recommend for patients at risk of the type of cancer you selected.

The selected cancer type is ovarian cancer that affects women. Ovarian cancer causes approximately 14,000 deaths every year in the USA thereby making it one of the leading causes of cancer deaths within the country. Additional review of the disease statistics reveals that for every 100,000 women, 11.4 of them will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer over the course of their lifetime with 95% of the cases reported among women older than 44 years of age. Given the prognosis associated with ovarian cancer, medical personnel would typically recommend detection services that involve screening services using trans-vaginal ultrasound. Still, there is an acknowledgement that even with early detection, the predictive value of ovarian cancer screening is very low. This means that even with a positive screening, it is not guaranteed that the individual will have ovarian cancer. Providers recommend that women undergo the screening services since they identify the presence of serum tumor marker cancer antigen 125, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations. However, the screening services are recommended with caution since there is a possibility of false positives that could result in unnecessary surgical diagnostics and interventions. Given the high possibility of false positives, asymptomatic women are not recommended to undergo screening for ovarian cancer, particularly when they do not have a high risk of hereditary cancer syndrome (US Preventive Services Task Force, 2018). In this respect, symptomatic women with high risk hereditary cancer syndrome are recommended to undergo screening for ovarian cancer as a preventive service although the results should be treated with caution since there is a possibility of false positive.

Explain how the factors you selected might impact decisions related to preventive services.

The selected factor is screening for ovarian cancer among symptomatic women with high risk hereditary cancer syndrome. Although it is a screening service that detects the presence of cancer, it is not recommended for use among asymptomatic women with low risk of hereditary cancer syndrome since there is a high possibility of false positives to imply that women who do not have the condition are likely to have a positive diagnosis that results in unnecessary surgical diagnosis and treatment. Other than the physical harm, the false positive could also harm the women psychologically by offering them a grim picture when they are not even seek. The implication is that the screening services for ovarian cancer have a high potential for harm (US Preventive Services Task Force, 2018).

Describe drug treatment options for patients diagnosed with the type of cancer you selected. Explain the short-term and long-term implications of these treatments.

There are a range of drug treatments available for ovarian cancer management. These drugs identify and target the cancer cell while present minimal to no risk on the normal health cells. The first type of drugs are angiogenesis inhibitors that include Bevacizumab. These medication attaches to VEGF and prevents signaling for new blood vessels to form thereby slowing or stopping ovarian cancer growth. Offered as an infusion that is presented every fortnight, the medication is used with caution since it presents some undesirable side effects when used in the short-term to include diarrhea, appetite loss, mouth sores, headaches, low WBC counts, bleeding, tiredness, and high blood pressure. The long term side effects include fistulas, homes in the colon, slows healing of wounds, severe bleeding, and blood clots. The second type of drugs are PARP (poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase) inhibitors that include Niraparib, Rucaparib, and Olaparib. These medical shrink and slow down the growth of cancer cells. There short-term side effects include pain in the joints and muscles, belly pain, anemia, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. The long term effects include developing blood cancer (American Cancer Society, 2018; Arcangelo et al., 2017) Women and Men’s Health: Ovarian Cancer.

Conclusion

Once must accept that cancer incidence among women has serious implication, particularly in terms of prevalence at 0.0114 and increasing risk of incidence among persons older than 44 years of age. In addition, one must acknowledge that although ovarian cancer screening is possible, the predictive value is very low with a high probability of the results being false positive. Regardless of the screening results, once the diagnosis is ascertained, there is a need to conduct treatment using a range of strategies that include angiogenesis inhibitors and PARP inhibitors. As a result, ovarian cancer is a condition that affects women with screening services being ineffective owing to false positive results although treatment can be conducted through medication.

References

American Cancer Society (2018). Targeted therapy for ovarian cancer. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/treating/targeted-therapy.html

Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: a practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

US Preventive Services Task Force (2018). Screening for Ovarian Cancer US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA, 319(6), 588-594. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.21926 Women and Men’s Health: Ovarian Cancer.

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