It is a well-known fact that cancer is among the leading causes of death in the world. According to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies, ovarian cancer had 22,280 new cases and 14,240 deaths in the U.S. as well as 2,800 new cases and 1,750 deaths in Canada in 2016.
This kind of cancer develops when the ovarian cells form tumors, which become malignant. In most cases, the symptoms of this cancer type aren’t apparent in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage.
In other words, ovarian cancer is referred to as the silent killer as a result of the lack of symptoms and difficulty being detected through screening. Although it typically affects post-menopausal women, there is elevated prevalence in younger women. Studies have shown that early detection of cancer can dramatically elevate your survival chances. Therefore, you should pay attention to your body, have regular checkups with your physician, and do not ignore any symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is not currently any reliable ovarian cancer test. Namely, CA125 blood tests usually give false negatives and smear tests don’t pick up malignant cysts. That’s not all, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken for the symptoms of other health problems, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This can leave early stage tumors undiagnosed until they reach late stage, where they can present as lumps in your pelvic area and abdomen.
But, recent research has found that there are a few early, warning signs of ovarian cancer.
4 Early, Warning Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
– Pelvic and Lower Abdominal Pain
Felling menstrual cramps in your lower abdomen, lower back and pelvic region during your period is normal. However, persistent pain that does not disappear long after your period is gone (about 3 weeks or more) may indicate that you suffer from ovarian cancer. In addition, pre-menopausal women should not ignore this symptom because it is easily mistaken for period pain.
– Persistent Bloating
In case you experience persistent bloating that lasts over 3 weeks and you have not experienced it before, then it may be an indicator of ovarian cancer.
– Frequent Urination
In case you experience an urgent need to pee or experience an elevated need to urinate without drinking too much liquid, it may be a sign of early stage ovarian cancer.
– Reduction in Your Appetite and Feeling Full Very Quickly
In case you experience a great reduction in your appetite for a span longer than 3 weeks, consult your physician. Although it may be an indicator of various bowel, stomach and intestine problems, it could also be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Most of these symptoms are usually mistaken for gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. So, in case you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms for more than 3 weeks and you have not experienced them before, you should observe their persistence and frequency. In case they do not disappear after 3 weeks or more, visit your physician since they may be a sign of ovarian cancer.