Calcification is a process in which calcium
builds up in body tissue, causing the tissue to harden.
This could be a normal or abnormal process. Ninety-nine
percent (99%) of calcium entering the body is deposited
in bones and teeth. The remaining 1% of calcium is
dissolved in the blood. Examples of normal, healthy
calcification include the formation of mammalian bone
and dental enamel. At times, a disorder affects the
balance between calcium and other minerals in the body
resulting in the calcium getting deposited in other
parts of the body such as arteries, kidneys, lungs,
brains, ovaries etc. calcium deposits in these parts can
interfere with the working of these organs and blood
vessels. Although calcification occurs more frequently
with age, being young is no defense. Pathologic
calcifications are classified as either metastatic or
dystrophic. Traditionally, calcifications in neoplasms
have been considered to be dystrophic, forming secondary
to degeneration of the epithelium or in association with
areas of necrosis. Calcifications are usually detected
The most widely accepted theory regarding the cause of calcification of ovaries postulates that calcifications are due to calcium deposition in areas of cellular degeneration associated with either an infectious process or with ischemic changes. It has been thought that in ovarian cancers, calcifications start in the epithelial cells. This theory has been questioned, however, by some researchers. Calcifications ranging from 5 to 13 mm in length in otherwise normal ovaries remain stable on follow-up imaging and are not an indicator of current or future ovarian cancer. Ovarian calcifications in children are rare, usually unilateral and in most cases involve tumor involvement. Small echogenic foci in the ovaries may be due to calcification and are mostly associated with benign changes and are not reliable indicators of infection or malignancy and are most likely to be related to previous hemorrhage or infection. On very rare occasions, calcifications are the only manifestations of cancer of the ovary and follow-up scans are called for.
Since it is difficult to detect ovarian cancer in the early stage, it is the most common cause of death from gynecological malignancies. The most common type of ovarian cancer is serous cystadenocarcinoma which shows histologic calcification. These calcifications are called "psammoma bodies" which are thought to be degenerative in nature.
An intriguing fact is the discovery of a tiny particle which has proved to be a link between calcification and inflammation. It is in fact so small that it challenges the very definition of life. Basically, the particle generates a calcium phosphate shell while in the blood, and attacks human tissue. This provokes an immune reaction that includes chronic inflammation.
Calcification impacts the health and quality of life for millions of people. It is dangerous because it provokes chronic and painful swelling, gumming up arteries and organs, often with fatal results. To minimize the crippling effects of calcified ovaries, a holistic medicinal approach is strongly recommended. Few lifestyle changes and modifications can help control the ill effects of calcification if not reverse it altogether.