Ovarian cancer is another disease which has been labeled as a silent killer (high blood pressure and cholesterol are two others) because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are so subtle, a cancerous tumor is often not detected until it’s in the latter stages.
Knowing the early warning symptoms of ovarian cancer could save your life by getting your cancer detected, diagnosis and treated while the cancer is still in the early stages.
Ovarian cancer symptoms often mimic monthly menstrual pain and/or discomfort associated with overeating and are easy to overlook.
Ovarian cancer often presents itself with symptoms of abdominal bloating. Since adnominal bloating is a normal menstrual cycle side effect, many women chalk it up to being nothing more than normal bloating associated with their periods. Ovarian cancer produces fluid build up, which creates abdominal bloating. Be aware of any abdominal bloating that does not go away at the end of your period or that lasts for more than a few weeks.
Cancerous ovarian tumors can also give you the sensation of feeling fuller after eating a smaller portion of food than normal. This is a subtle symptom of ovarian cancer that many women unknowingly welcome, especially if they want to or are trying to, lose weight. The feeling of becoming fuller faster at meal time will result in weight loss, again another unknowingly welcome effect, but unless you have been pro-actively cutting down on the amount of food you consume and trying to lose weight, the feeling of fullness could be an early warning symptom of ovarian cancer.
The urgent and frequent need to urinate is another early warning symptom of ovarian cancer. An ovarian tumor can be pressing on the bladder causing this need and sometimes is mis-diagnosised and treated as an over active bladder.
Pressure or pain in the pelvic region are two other subtle symptoms of ovarian cancer. Pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis are also symptoms of other ailments like bladder or urinary tract infection and possible ovarian cancer is sometimes initially overlooked.
A routine Pap test will not detect ovarian cancer. If you have your ovaries and experience any of the early warning symptoms of ovarian cancer that last for more than a few weeks, see your doctor for a more specialized exam of your ovaries. Detail the symptoms you are experiencing to your doctor, along with your menstrual history and any family history of ovarian cancer.
When you know the early warning signs of ovarian cancer, seek a diagnosis and treatment early on in the disease, you will greatly increase your survival rate.