Ovarian Cancer may cause several signs and symptoms. Women are more likely to have symptoms once the disease is stage 3 or stage 4 cancer, and has progressed and spread to other parts of the body like the stomach or the liver. Ovarian Cancer is known as the silent killer because most women don’t have symptoms in the early stages of ovarian cancer. It can be incredibly hard to diagnose ovarian cancer and the symptoms are usually overlooked or thought to be other common problems.
When should you see a doctor? If you experience a combination of any of the symptoms listed below for 2 weeks or more then I would recommend you make an appointment with your gynecologist. He will probably suggest you get a blood test that looks for the protein CA125. This protein is a common indicator of ovarian cancer. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have a family history of cancer as this may be an increased risk factor.
Here are the most common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
• Upset stomach- If you often experience an upset stomach and indigestion after eating or drinking this could be an early sign of ovarian cancer.
• Fatigue- (extreme tiredness) if your often really tired and sleepy all day.
• Back pain- If you get lower back pain on a regular basis this could be an early sign or symptom of ovarian cancer.
• Pain during sex- Women who struggle with painful intercourse which is persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse might be at risk.
• Constipation- If you are having fewer bowel movements than usual, or if it takes a long time to pass stools, and the stools are hard this could be an early sign of ovarian cancer.
• Changes in menstrual cycle- If you get heavier bleeding than normal and you start experiencing missed periods, a heavier flow, spotting between periods, and longer stretches of PMS.
• Unexplained sudden weight loss- If you experience a rapid noticeable drop in body weight that occurs even if you are not trying to lose weight this could be a symptom of a serious illness including cancer.
• Bloating- Bloating is when your belly feels swollen after eating and it is usually caused by excess gas production. If it persist for more then 2 weeks then it could be serious.
• Pelvic or abdominal (belly) pain- Abdominal or stomach pain refers to discomfort in the space between the chest and pelvis. Most cases of abdominal pain are mild and have a variety of common causes but if it persist for more then 2 weeks its time to see a doctor.
• Trouble eating- If you often feel full quickly while eating a meal and you experience nausea after the meal then it’s possible that it could be something more serious like ovarian cancer.
• Urinary symptoms- If you always feel like you have to go to the bathroom even when your not drinking more water then it could be a possible sign that somethings not right.
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