Ovarian cancer occurs frequently in domestic laying hens, especially commercial laying breeds genetically selected for high egg productivity. This is because ovulation (laying of the egg) increases the prevalence of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until advanced stages of the disease, which is when hens may begin to develop signs associated with tumor growth. These can include abdominal swelling, egg laying problems (increased infections, soft-shelled, shell-less and other abnormal eggs), and generalized signs of lethargy/depression.
Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
There is no available cure for ovarian cancer in hens. Treatment options are aimed at stopping egg production, to minimize risk of future egg-related infections (egg yolk peritonitis
), which include hormonal implants or, as a last resort, "spaying". There are also a number of different natural herbs which have been documented to have certain anti-cancer properties and have been shown to be beneficial for some patients with ovarian tumors. These include: