Sam Willows singer recommends checks after ovarian cyst surgery
On Feb 20, singer Sandra Riley Tang from local pop group The Sam Willows took to Instagram to say she underwent surgery to remove two dermoid cysts in her ovaries.
In a series of Insta stories posts, she said she had two cysts in her ovaries measuring about 8.8cm and 5.3cm that she would not have otherwise noticed had she not gone for a full body check-up.
Before Tang was diagnosed, she did not sense anything amiss, save for period cramps and random slight cramps. After blood tests and scans, it was recommended that she remove her cysts via surgery.
The 27-year-old ended her posts by encouraging her 85,000 followers who are above the age of 21 to get themselves checked and to make sure they are covered by medical insurance.
She wrote: "Cysts in the uterus and lumps in the breasts are actually very common... You always think it won't happen to you, until it does."
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Singapore, with 343 cases diagnosed each year, based on statistics from the Singapore Cancer Registry.
According to the SingHealth and Gleneagles Hospital website, while ovarian cysts like endometriotic cysts (occurs when cells from the womb lining develop outside the womb), dermoid cysts (develops from germ cells that are able to develop into any type body tissue, and are more commonly seen in younger women) and cystadenomas (arises from the outer surface of the ovary) are benign cysts,some ovarian cysts are malignant.
Ovarian cysts usually don't come with symptoms and are often harmless.
But larger ovarian cysts that are growing rapidly may cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloatedness, menstrual irregularities, loss of appetite or weight, passing urine more frequently or a change in bowel habits (caused by compression from the cysts).
Patients who are diagnosed with endometriotic cysts may experience pain during menstruation and sexual intercourse.
As ovarian cancer tends to develop in a gradual, subtle way with vague symptoms, the aforementioned symptoms should not be taken lightly, especially if you just started to experience these symptoms or experience them on a regular basis.
Ultrasound is the preferred method for detecting ovarian cysts.
A blood test for the CA125 protein may also be taken if there is a concern about malignancy.
The blood protein is frequently found in higher concentration in patients with ovarian cancer, but the results must be interpreted in conjunction with symptoms and ultrasound findings.
Management of the condition will depend on the symptoms that you are experiencing, the characteristics of the cysts and results of blood tests.
With small ovarian cysts that have no suspicious features, a follow-up ultrasound scan in three to four months can be used to monitor changes in size and appearance of the cysts.
If the cysts are accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal pain or show abnormal features, your doctor might recommend a cystectomy (ovarian cyst removal), a surgical procedure that is done to remove a cyst from your ovary.
This article first appeared on Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com)