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How dangerous is finding cancer after a hysterectomy?

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Quick Answer

The danger and risks associated with finding cancer after a hysterectomy depend on when and where the cancer is found. While a hysterectomy reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, it does not eliminate the threat, says Healthline.

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Full Answer

Ovarian cancer develops in ovarian cells, according to Healthline. Typically, cancer begins in the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary, but cancer may develop inside the cells that produce eggs or in the hormone-producing cells.

A hysterectomy can involve the removal of the uterus, cervix and tissue on both sides of the cervix and upper part of the vagina, reports Healthline. Regardless, in all procedures, the ovaries are left intact, which can potentially develop cancer. Even without ovaries, ovarian cells can migrate to the peritoneal area between the vagina and anus and become cancerous. Cancer can also develop in the tissue lining the wall of the abdomen.

Regardless of the type of hysterectomy a patient has, regular examinations should be scheduled, suggests Healthline. However, there are no routine ovarian cancer screenings, and signs and symptoms usually appear vague and mild when they begin. Common symptoms include abdominal bloating and discomfort, trouble eating, frequent urination, fatigue and heartburn as well as back pain, painful intercourse and constipation. These symptoms may not respond to treatment or lessen over time if they are caused by ovarian cancer. Women experiencing these symptoms should report them to a doctor immediately, as an earlier diagnosis may yield a better prognosis.

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