Dubbed by many as “The Silent Killer”, ovarian cancer remains to be rare, but it can be incredibly difficult to detect early on. Unlike Breast cancer, uterine cancer and cervical cancers, ovarian cancer does not yet have a screening that allows us to detect it early. To make matters worse, not many fully know what signs of ovarian cancer are. This results in only 20% of all cases of ovarian cancer actually being diagnosed before they become more advanced.
While that statistic is disturbingly low, for those who are able to find ovarian cancer early on, the treatment works a lot better. Over 94 percent of women who had their ovarian cancer diagnosed in the early stages will live five years or more.
According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, for every 100 women who report similar symptoms to that of ovarian cancer, only one will actually have early-stage ovarian cancer. It’s a double edged sword of where the cancer needs to be caught early, but the technology for detecting it is far behind and the symptoms are very broad. We always suggest talking with a doctor and carefully examining the evidence. No one can afford constant doctor visits, but you also don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
Below is a list of 11 signs that may suggest ovarian cancer. Of course, these signs can be caused by many other factors, so you should never jump to conclusions too early, but you also shouldn’t ignore them either. If you have many of these symptoms then you should most certainly contact your doctor.
Bloating or Swollen Abdomen
If you find that the size of your abdomen is increasing and you often find yourself bloated and even full of gas that may be a sign. If your clothes that once fit perfectly now feel noticeably tighter around your waist and hips, that may suggest that your abdomen is swollen.
Urgent or Frequent Need to Pee
Always find yourself needing to be near a restroom? Can you barely make it to the toilet on time? It may be a sign of something much worse. Unfortunately, this is one of those symptoms that can be the result of many things, such as weak pelvic floor muscles or a urinary tract infection. Regardless of that, however, it is always worth checking into as they can all be remedied and will help you live a normal life again.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If you observe any sudden weight loss with no explanation, it may not be a good sign. We all would love to shed a few extra pounds for free, but it’s also important to understand what caused the sudden weight loss.
Pain During Sexual Relations
If you find that intimate time with your partner often leaves you in pain, especially when it never has before, that is a sign of something not being quite right. You should always get this checked out just in case there is something more serious going on.
Changes in Menstruation
Another common symptom that could be influenced by many factors, especially if you’re around age 50 as that is when menopause affects most women. However if you’re certain it has nothing to do with menopause then it is certainly a red flag to be concerned about.
You start to feel discomfort or pain in or around your pelvic area, sometimes also in the abdomen. If this pain persists, you most certainly should not just brush it away or attempt to hide the pain with painkillers. Your body is trying to tell you something important and pain is often the best way. Pelvic pain does not automatically mean ovarian cancer, however you should always have it checked out.
If you’re bleeding from anywhere on your body where you will usually don’t bleed and you don’t know, it’s never a good thing. If the bleeding persists contact your doctor immediately.
If you find yourself overly tired and low in energy constantly then you are dealing with fatigue. Note that a little bit of fatigue, especially during the middle of the day can be considered normal. Fatigue can be caused by many factors, such as your consumption of sugar, depression, or many others. However you should often investigate fatigue as it can negatively impact your life and your ability to live it.
Constipation or Other Changes In Your Bowel Movements
Constipation and other minor changes can be very normal responses to a change in your diet, but if find yourself having these changes persist beyond a day or two they might be worth looking into.
Having a feeling of constant nauseousness can also be a symptom of ovarian cancer.
Low Back Pain / Abdominal Pain
Related to the pelvic pain from earlier, but this is the closest to where your ovaries are located in your body, so you’re most likely to feel pain radiating from this area.