What You Should Know About the Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that affects thousands of women every year. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer until the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, making it more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer in order to catch the disease early, when it is most treatable.
Ovarian cancer is known as the “silent killer” because it often does not produce any noticeable symptoms until the disease has begun to spread. However, there are some warning signs that women should be aware of:
1. Abdominal or pelvic pain
Persistent pain in the abdomen or pelvis is one of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer. Some women describe the pain as a crampy or achy feeling, while others may feel a sharp or stabbing sensation.
Bloating is a common symptom of ovarian cancer and can be caused by the buildup of fluid or the growth of a tumor in the abdomen. Women with ovarian cancer may notice that their clothes feel tighter or that their stomach appears larger than usual.
3. Changes in bowel habits
Frequent constipation or diarrhea, or a change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few weeks, can be a sign of ovarian cancer.
4. Feeling full quickly
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly after eating may be a sign of ovarian cancer. This can occur if a tumor is pressing on the stomach or intestines, making it difficult for food to pass through.
5. Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Unusual vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause, can be a sign of ovarian cancer.
6. Urinary frequency or urgency
Frequent urination or a sudden urge to urinate can be a sign of ovarian cancer. This occurs when a tumor is pressing on the bladder, causing it to become irritated.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about getting screened for ovarian cancer. While there is no definitive screening test for ovarian cancer, your doctor can perform a pelvic exam, blood tests, and imaging tests to help determine if you have the disease.
In addition to knowing the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products.
In conclusion, ovarian cancer is a serious disease that can be difficult to diagnose until it has progressed to a more advanced stage. Therefore, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. By catching the disease early and getting proper treatment, women with ovarian cancer can improve their chances of survival and live longer, healthier lives.