ovarian cancer symptoms

Ovarian cancer does have symptoms, but they are usually subtle and easily mistaken for other, more common problems.  In some cases, early stage ovarian cancers produce symptoms, but in many women symptoms don’t show up until the cancer has advanced.

Women with ovarian cancer report that symptoms are persistent and represent a change from normal for their bodies. The frequency and/or number of such symptoms are key factors in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Several studies show that ovarian cancer can produce these symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

See your doctor, preferably a gynecologist, if you have these symptoms for more than two weeks, and the symptoms are new or unusual for you.

In 2007, OCRA and other leading cancer organizations endorsed a consensus statement on ovarian cancer symptoms.

As medical research continues to investigate this important issue, numerous studies have been published indicating that symptoms may not occur until late stage, or that symptom recognition may not improve health outcomes. OCRA believes that symptom recognition is extremely important, but symptoms are not a definitive diagnostic tool. Since there is no diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer, symptom awareness remains of key importance.  Being aware of symptoms can help women get diagnosed sooner. Early stage diagnosis is associated with an improved prognosis.

Other Symptoms Associated with Ovarian Cancer

Several other symptoms have been commonly reported by women with ovarian cancer. These symptoms include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities. However, these other symptoms are not as useful in identifying ovarian cancer because they are also found in equal frequency in women in the general population who do not have ovarian cancer.

This information has been taken with permission from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, https://ocrahope.org

Video

Gynecologic oncologists and their patients talk about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and the importance of early detection in this video.

Created by Spark Media and N.E.D., the rock band of gynecologic oncologists.

Watch the video:
Do you talk about ovaries in public?

¿Hablas de los ovarios en público? 

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