Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Facts about Ovarian Metastastis From the Colon

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Symptoms of ovarian cancer are nonspecific and mimic those of many other more common conditions, including digestive and bladder disorders." Colon cancer may also spread to the lymph nodes, bones, lungs and liver. There are particular signs and symptoms that the cancer has spread to the ovaries.

Abdominal Discomfort

  • Patients with colon cancer that has spread to the ovaries may have already been experiencing pain, fullness or bloating in the abdomen from the colon cancer and may not realize the cancer has spread. Patients may also experience persistent indigestion, gas or nausea as well as changes in bowel habits, such as constipation. One may lose their appetite or quickly feel full after a meal.

Pelvic Discomfort

  • Women may experience pain during intercourse, lower back pain and general pelvic discomfort. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients may also experience changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate as well as changes in menstruation (more bleeding, much less bleeding or erratic bleeding).
The following is an abstract from a Colorectal Medical Journal


Objective  To improve management of ovarian metastasis through assessment of clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes associated with ovarian metastasis from colorectal cancer.
Method  We recruited 103 subjects who were diagnosed with ovarian metastasis and subjected to surgery between June 1989 and December 2005. Clinical and pathological variables were evaluated. Survival and its associated factors were analysed with a median follow-up of 31 months after ovarian surgery (range 1–129 months).
Results  The mean age at diagnosis was 46 years (range 14–72 years), synchronous ovarian metastasis occurred in 74 patients and metachronous in 29 patients. The primary tumour was more commonly associated with the colon rather than the rectum (84/1608, 5.2%vs 19/1534, 1.2%, < 0.001). Combined metastases occurred in 69 patients (67%). Complete resection was achieved in 34 (33%) patients without other metastases. The estimated 5-year disease free survival and overall survival rate were 40.1% and 26.6%, respectively. From univariate analysis, lymphovascular invasion (35.6%vs 12.8%, = 0.034), combined metastasis (50.9%vs 15.6%, = 0.0035) and bilaterale ovarian metastasis (36.4%vs 10.6%, = 0.015) were identified as significant poor prognosis factors, and from multivariate analysis combined metastasis and bilaterale ovarian metastasis were significant (= 0.034 and = 0.015, respectively).
Conclusion  This study suggests a role for regular follow-up computed tomography scans within 6 months postoperatively and tumour marker assays for the early detection of ovarian metastasis in premenopausal women after primary surgery, especially in colonic patients with poor prognostic factors.


A pelvic examination and imaging including CT scan[39] and trans-vaginal ultrasound are essential. Physical examination may reveal increased abdominal girth and/or ascites (fluid within the abdominal cavity). Pelvic examination may reveal an ovarian or abdominal mass. The pelvic examination can include a Rectovaginal component for better palpation of the ovaries. For very young patients, magnetic resonance imaging may be preferred to rectal and vaginal examination.
To definitively diagnose ovarian cancer, a surgical procedure to take a look into the abdomen is required. This can be an open procedure (laparotomy, incision through the abdominal wall) or keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). During this procedure, suspicious areas will be removed and sent for microscopic analysis. Fluid from the abdominal cavity can also be analysed for cancerous cells. If there is cancer, this procedure can also determine its spread (which is a form of tumor staging).


Ovarian cancer staging is by the FIGO staging system and uses information obtained after surgery, which can include a total abdominal hysterectomy, removal of (usually) both ovaries and fallopian tubes, (usually) the omentum, and pelvic (peritoneal) washings for cytopathology. The AJCC stage is the same as the FIGO stage. The AJCC staging system describes the extent of the primary Tumor (T), the absence or presence of metastasis to nearby lymph Nodes (N), and the absence or presence of distant Metastasis (M).[43]
  • Stage I — limited to one or both ovaries
    • IA — involves one ovary; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; no malignant cells in ascites or peritoneal washings
    • IB — involves both ovaries; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; negative washings
    • IC — tumor limited to ovaries with any of the following: capsule ruptured, tumor on ovarian surface, positive washings
  • Stage II — pelvic extension or implants
    • IIA — extension or implants onto uterus or fallopian tube; negative washings
    • IIB — extension or implants onto other pelvic structures; negative washings
    • IIC — pelvic extension or implants with positive peritoneal washings

 Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian adenocarcinoma deposit in the mesentry of the small bowel
  • Stage III — peritoneal implants outside of the pelvis; or limited to the pelvis with extension to the small bowel or omentum
    • IIIA — microscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis
    • IIIB — macroscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis less than 2 cm in size
    • IIIC — peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis > 2 cm or lymph node metastases
  • Stage IV — distant metastases to the liver or outside the peritoneal cavity
                                   Testimonial of Patient with Colon Cancer that Metastasized to Ovary

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