WHAT ARE THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER?

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WHAT ARE THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CANCER?

It is often difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer in its early stages because the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. Anyone who experiences unexplained abdominal symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks should see a doctor.

Ovarian Cancer can also be challenging to detect early because the ovaries are small and located deep in the abdomen, making any growths that might be on them hard for a doctor to feel.

According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), only around 19 percent of ovarian cancer is diagnosed in the early stages.

What are the early signs of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer does not cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages.

The symptoms most associated with ovarian cancer tend to develop in the later stages of the condition, as growths put pressure on the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

However, these symptoms of ovarian cancer can develop at any stage of the condition and include:

  • Bloating
  • pelvic or abdominal pain or cramping
  • feeling full quickly after starting to eat or lack of appetite
  • indigestion or upset stomach
  • nausea
  • the need to urinate more frequently or urgently than normal
  • a pressure in the lower back or pelvis
  • unexplained exhaustion
  • back pain
  • constipation
  • increase abdominal girth or abdominal swelling
  • painful sex
  • menstrual changes
  • weight loss

These symptoms can be due to a variety of other conditions, which will often respond to basic treatment or go away on their own.

However, if these symptoms develop suddenly and persist, or continue more or less daily regardless of basic treatment, see a doctor for a diagnosis as they might be symptoms of ovarian cancer.

When to see a doctor

Because it is difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer at an early stage, most health authorities suggest that the best way to help reduce the chances of developing more advanced stages of ovarian cancer is by taking a positive, proactive approach to the disease.

To ensure the very best outcome, a person should talk to their family doctor or the gynaecologist about any potential symptoms as soon as possible.

Signs can include any unexplained symptoms of ovarian cancer, or any new abdominal or pelvic symptoms, that:

  • are unrelated to another diagnosed condition
  • do not respond to basic treatment, for example, back pain that does not go away with rest and icing, or indigestion that does not improve with diet changes and exercise
  • last for more than 2 weeks
  • occur for more than 12 days a month

 

Source: medicalnewstoday

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