Ovarian cancer, as the most dangerous of all gynecological cancers, is one of the main reasons for premature death in women.
The statistics derived from research done by the National Cancer Institute are frightening – in United States only, more than 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer on a yearly basis. Even more frightening is the fact that for more than a half of these women, the disease will be terminal.
The most affected group are women in the later stages of their lives, however, that is not always the case. The risk of 1 in 75 getting ovarian cancer makes medical professionals work harder towards finding new methods of prevention and treatment.
Unfortunately, unlike cervix cancer, which can be diagnosed relatively early with standard annual gynecological tests, ovarian cancer is more difficult to detect.
Only 15% of the patients with ovarian cancer start the treatment in the early stages of development, hence the high mortality rates.
Taking into consideration all of these facts, one cannot emphasize enough the importance of learning how to distinguish the symptoms.
There are certain indicators that have been reported by previous patients, and that can save the lives of many others:
1) Pelvic pain or pressure – a symptom that can appear as a result of many malfunctions of the organism, but you should not ignore it. If any kind of pelvic discomfort persists, you should visit your gynecologist immediately.
2) Abdominal pain – similar as pelvic pain, it is often only a mild discomfort, at instances it is a harsh pain, but in both cases it might be conveying an important message. Even abdominal bloating and swelling might be a result of ovarian cancer
3) Back pain – usually ovarian cancer causes pain in the lower back, or pain that reflects to the pelvic area. It may cause discomfort while sitting as well
Intercourse Related Problems
1) Painful sex – the pain can be felt on both sides of the pelvis. Often it is a result of the lack of lubrication, as a result of the illness in more advanced stages
2) Vaginal bleeding – occurs in more than 90% of women that suffer from ovarian or cervix cancer, and can have different levels of intensity. Older women that haven’t had a period for 12 months, and experience any form of a bleeding, should immediately report that to a doctor
1) Increased size of the abdomen – abdominal weight is a result of the fluid accumulation caused by the disease. Sometimes, the stomach area and the waistline can change shape even within days
2) Bloating – can range from a feeling of tightness, up to a swelling. You should especially pay attention to it if it occurs after your period has ended
Food Processing Problems
1) Eating disorder – ovarian cancer can cause two symptoms having a feeling of fullness and bloating very quickly or loss of appetite.
2) Weight loss –sometimes is a result of inappropriate digestion, regardless of the type and the amount of food you consume. Weight loss can be a sign of many problems, so losing more than 5% of the body weight should be reported to a doctor, as it is one of the main signs of a gynecological problem
3) Changes in bowel movement – women with ovarian cancer have been reporting both constipation and diarrhea. They are very often confused with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and are disregarded
1) Menstrual Irregularities – ovarian cancer causes woman to have both too hasty or too late periods, as well as irregular spotting between two periods. You should report to your doctor even only one skipped period
1) Nausea – fatigue, nausea and general body weakness are symptoms reported by patients of all types of cancer, including ovarian, because of the healthy cells fighting with the cancer cells. Persistent nausea might appear even in the early stages.
The main issue lies in the fact that not all of these symptoms are exclusive for ovarian cancer patients. Very often, they can be a result of something as common as premenstrual syndrome, and that is the main reason of them being ignored.
Some stages of ovarian cancer, unfortunately, spread very fast. Thus, a regular semi early checkup is a must. In case a doctor cannot determine the condition with a standard checkup, there is a possibility to do screening, often a combination of an ultra sound and a blood test.
Modern medicine tries to find a form of treatment that will decrease the mortality rates of ovarian cancer but less progress is done then in the other forms of the illness.
Therefore, listen to what your body has to say, before it is too late.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.