Possible Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer aren’t always evident and this is why people often refer to it as a “silent killer.” This is because, like many other types of cancer, patients are asymptomatic until the disease is quite advanced and it’s too late to reverse it. Thus, you might want to be aware of some of its characteristics.
This type of cancer is the second most common gynecological type among women. However, it’s the one with the highest mortality rate since. Doctors seldom diagnose it on time, according to experts from the American Cancer Society.
According to reports in recent years, only 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer manage to survive up to 5 years after the initial diagnosis. This is because in many cases doctors detect it at a rather advanced stage. Experts indicate that early detection of this disease increases life expectancy by up to 95%.
Ovarian cancer can afflict women at various ages but the risk increases from the age of 50 onwards. In fact, 65-year-old women are the most vulnerable.
It’s important to inform yourself about the symptoms that could alert you to possible ovarian cancer or other health problems. Keep in mind that this information can help you determine when to consult a doctor.
Possible warning signs of ovarian cancer
The following symptoms are common in ovarian cancer, although they could also be signs of other health problems. Still, taking them into account and being able to identify them can be key to detecting this disease early.
- Abdominal bloating or swelling. This is a common symptom of various health problems. However, bloating or swelling could indicate ovarian cancer. Thus, consult your doctor if this happens frequently to you.
- Digestive Symptoms. In addition to bloating, symptoms like indigestion, constipation, abdominal cramps, and discomfort, or any change in bowel movements, are also red flags.
- Pelvic pain. This could be an important sign of this disease. Thus, consult your doctor and stop taking painkillers if the pain is frequent and seems to have no explanation.
- Back pain. Pain in your lower back for no reason could be another symptom of this condition.
- Frequent and uncontrollable urination. This type of symptom often indicates the weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Also, it could just be a symptom of a urinary infection. However, you must consult your doctor as it could be due to ovarian cancer.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain. This could be a sign that something is seriously wrong. The same is true if there’s unexplained weight gain. In addition, you may also experience a loss of appetite or feel full at all times.
- Fatigue. You may feel fatigued due to a health problem or perhaps it’s just stress. However, this is also a common symptom when you have ovarian cancer. Feeling tired, drained, and weak at all times is a sign that something isn’t right.
- Pain during sex. Consult your doctor if instead of enjoying your sex you frequently feel pain as this is also a common symptom of ovarian cancer.
Other symptoms to watch out for
- Frequent stomach pain
- Vaginal bleeding (in postmenopausal women)
When to consult a doctor?
Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. It’s always best to see them when you have any concerns about your health. This is because your physician should evaluate you to find out for sure if it could be ovarian cancer. Under no circumstances should you ignore the symptoms mentioned above. Especially if they’re keeping you from enjoying your life and progressively worsen.
In order to diagnose you, the doctor may order tests such as ultrasound, axial tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, or a blood test called CA-125.
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