Ovarian Cancer SymptomsWhat are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer symptoms are usually silent in nature i.e. they are very subtle at the onset and present themselves only at the advanced stages. Women should be aware of the below mentioned ovarian cancer symptoms and take immediate medical action if one or more of these symptoms arise. Regular pelvic exams are the key to early detection of ovarian cancer.
- Indigestion, nausea, or changes in bowel movements are the most common signs of ovarian cancer. Women who have ovarian cancer may or may not experience pelvic pain. Though these "silent" symptoms may sometimes indicate the presence of ovarian cancer, they may also indicate benign (non-cancerous) ovarian conditions or other conditions.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding—a rare sign of ovarian cancer. More likely, vaginal bleeding is a sign of another type of abnormality. Bleeding may occur between menstrual periods. Heavier than normal menstrual bleeding, and menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than normal are considered unusual signs.
- Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms in the early stages of ovarian cancer. As the cancer grows, women may experience lower abdominal discomfort or swelling. However, symptoms do not always present themselves until the cancer has spread past the ovaries. Since several symptoms of ovarian cancer are associated with a variety of other conditions, many harmless, they are sometimes ignored even when they are present.
- Other ovarian cancer symptoms include pain in the legs or back, pain during intercourse, bloating. weight gain or loss.
Despite an increased awareness of ovarian cancer in the news and other media, the ability to detect this disease is poor, and many women are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced. Ovarian cancer ordinarily produces no distinctive symptoms, and most tumors metastasize, or spread, to other abdominal organs before being diagnosed. Metastasis can give rise to ascites, a build-up of fluid in the abdomen that usually causes abdominal swelling. Such swelling may be the only indication that something is wrong, and it is the most common reason most patient visit their doctor.
Symptoms are often associated with the location of the tumor and its impact on the surrounding organs. They tend to be non-specific and can mimic non-gynecologic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, etc. Many of us experience these symptoms from time to time - do not be alarmed! But if they persist and are unusual for you, then seek a professional opinion.
Women who are consistently experiencing one or more of the symptoms for ovarian cancer should talk to their physician about being tested for ovarian cancer. Additionally, all women over 18 years of age should have an annual physician performed pelvic examination. If ovarian cancer is suspected, physicians may order several tests for verification.
Summary of ovarian cancer symptoms :
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain, pressure, swelling, or discomfort.
- Vague but persistent gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea, indigestion.
- Frequency and/or urgency of urination. Also frequent urinary tract infections.
- Menstrual disorders such as abnormal bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.
- Unexplained tiredness and fatigue.
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss, particularly weight gain in the abdominal region.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Back or leg pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Ovarian or pelvic mass.
- Stomach size suddenly blows up.
- Pleural effusion.
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