Ovarian germ cell tumors occur when malignant cancer cells form in the egg cells of the ovary or ovaries. Less than 2 percent of all ovarian cancers are germ cell tumors. Usually, the only symptoms associated with germ cell tumors may be abdominal swelling or post-menopausal vaginal bleeding. The same tests used to examine the ovaries and the pelvic region are used to detect and diagnose ovarian germ cell tumors. Typically, ovarian germ cell tumors occur in teenage girls or young women, and only in one ovary. If the ovarian germ cell tumor is benign, then the surgeon may remove only the part of the ovary which has the tumor, or the entire ovary, Malignant ovarian germ cell tumors have much more aggressive treatment.
Treatment for Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors
With the exception of Stage I, Grade 1 immature teratomas and Stage IA dysgerminomas, most germ cell tumors are treated in the same way, regardless of type or stage. This treatment includes the same type of staging surgery as women with epithelial ovarian cancer undergo. Patients who want to maintain their fertility may choose to have only the affected ovary and fallopian tube, however if the cancer has spread to both ovaries, this choice would not be an option. Patients who are through with their childbearing years may have complete staging, involving the removal of the uterus, both fallopian tubes and both ovaries.
Ovarian germ cell tumors which have spread beyond the ovaries may benefit from debulking—removing as much as the cancerous cells as possible, without removing any essential organs. Stage IA dysgerminomas and Stage I, Grade 1, immature teratomas will generally require only surgery. Among patients who have these types of germ cell cancers, regular checkups following the surgery is the only requirement, however if these two types of germ cell cancers return, the patient may have to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy. For all other types, stages and grades of ovarian germ cell cancers, at least three cycles of combination chemotherapy treatment is advised. The chemotherapy drugs etoposide, cisplatin and bleomycin are generally combined for the most effective treatment. Women with ovarian germ cell tumors may have elevated HCG, AFP or LDH blood levels, which will then be re-checked periodically throughout the chemotherapy treatment. If the levels go down, the treatment is likely working, however if they stay the same or go up, the cancer may be more aggressive and could spread quickly.
Treatment for Stage IA Dysgerminomas
If the Stage IA dysgerminoma is only in one ovary, the ovary and fallopian tube on that side may be removed, then close follow-ups to ensure the cancer has not returned will be required. The majority of patients who are diagnosed with a Stage IA dysgerminoma are cured with the surgery, and will never require follow-up chemotherapy.
Treatment for Grade 1 Immature Teratomas
Most Grade 1 immature teratomas are comprised of primarily non-cancerous tissues, with possibly only a few cancerous cells seen under the microscope. Even the cancerous tissues observed will appear immature, and this type of tumor will very seldom return after removal. If the Grade 1 immature teratoma is limited to one or both ovaries, the surgeon may recommend removal of the affected ovary or ovaries. If the surgeon finds tumor deposits outside the ovary, however they appear mature, it is unlikely chemotherapy will be necessary.
Treatment for Recurrent or Persistent Germ Cell Tumors
Tumors which return following the initial treatment are known as recurrent germ cell tumors. Tumors which never disappeared, even after treatment for the tumor is known as a persistent tumor. Increased blood levels of HCG and AFP may be the only indication the germ cell cancer has returned—or never went away. Chemotherapy may be indicated for persistent ovarian germ cell tumors, or, in very rare cases, radiation.
Has Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer affected you or a loved one? Did you or a loved one use baby powder with talc or Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene?
If you have heard the news regarding talcum powder ovarian cancer, you may have many questions regarding whether ovarian cancer has a definite link to the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene as well as questions about ovarian cancer itself. As far back as the 1970’s, talcum powder fibers were found in removed ovarian tumors. Over the years, there has been a significant body of research on the link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene. In many of those studies, it was found there was a 30-40 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer among women who regularly used talcum powder for feminine hygiene.
Other studies have been inconclusive regarding a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, however three separate juries have found in favor of the plaintiffs in a talcum powder lawsuit. Two of the talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits resulted in damages of $72 million and $55 million, while the first talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was decided in favor of plaintiff Deane Berg, she received no damages. Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer since the majority of women are most often diagnosed in the latter stages of the cancer.
How Can a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawyer Help Me?
If you used talcum powder for feminine hygiene, and later were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it could be beneficial to speak to an experienced talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney. Obtaining talcum powder ovarian cancer legal help can assist you in determining whether to file a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit, as well as helping you get the treatment you need. You could be entitled to compensation for you’re the injuries you have suffered.