Ultrasonography is a medical imaging technique that is also called ultrasound scanning or sonography. High frequency sound waves and their echoes and used in this technique for obtaining images from inside the human body. The echoes of sound waves reflected from the human body are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. This technique is similar to the echo location used by bats, whales and dolphins. The sonar used by submarines also operates the same technique. Ultrasound is useful method to examine many of the body's internal organs like heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder.
Movement of the internal tissues and organs are captured in ultrasound. Ultrasonography enables the physicians to diagnose a variety of disease conditions and also assess the damage caused to the systems. The ultrasound machine transmits high frequency sound pulses into the human body by using probes. These sound waves that travel into the body hit a boundary between the tissues inside the body and reflect the sound waves to the probe. Some waves travel even further and they reach another boundary and then get reflected back. The waves that are reflected are picked up by the probe and relayed back into the ultrasound machine.
The ultrasound machine in turn calculates the distance from the probe to the tissue or organ by using the speed of sound tissue and the time of each echo's return. The machine displays these distances and intensities of the echoes on the screen. Through the echoes that are produced the sonologist can identify how far away an object is, how large it is, its shape and consistency (fluid, solid or mixed). Two dimensional images are formed and reflected on the screen. Different types of ultrasound are used for different disease conditions. Ultrasound is used in a variety of clinical settings including obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and cancer detection.
Ovarian cancer us not easy to detect in the early stages. Often the symptoms of ovarian cancer are easily mistaken for other conditions and unfortunately most cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed only in the advanced stages. Ovarian cancer is normally observed in women over 40 years. Women who have had endometriosis or undergone infertility treatment such as stimulation of the ovaries are at higher risk of ovarian cancer. Women who have given birth to 2-3 children reduce their risk of developing ovarian cancer as also those who have opted for tubal litigation. A woman who has used oral contraceptives has reduced chances of cancer of the ovaries.
A woman suffering from ovarian cancer is likely to suffer from pelvic discomfort and abdominal pressure and bloating. There is increased need to urinate and unexplained change in bowel habits. The other symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are unexplained weight gain or loss and unusual fatigue. Since most of these symptoms are vague, often ovarian cancer is not detected in the early stages. A patient may feel pain during sexual intercourse and urination.
A gynecologist will conduct a recto vaginal pelvic examination of the patient to trace any irregularity in the shape or size of the ovary. If ovarian cysts or tumors above a specific size are noticed, they are usually removed or a biopsy is conducted for better diagnosis. Trans vaginal sonography helps in detecting ovarian irregularities. It can help in locating the site of the tumor. Blood test CA-125 is also helpful in diagnosing ovarian tumor. Women suffering from ovarian cancer tend to have elevated levels of CA125 in their blood. 'Ovarian Pap Test' consists of a smear of the cells from the ovarian surface that is tested for any abnormalities. Surgery is almost always the first treatment ovarian cancer. Both the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are removed.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: January 20, 2020