Health & Wellness

9 Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman must Know!

Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer: One should analyze the body for the occurrence of frequent symptoms which might be an indication of a bigger problem.

It is possible to identify deadly diseases in the early stage and overcome the disease before it turns serious and fatal. The people have to be vigilant. Ovarian cancer is no different. 

Ovaries lie deep inside the abdomen and physical changes are difficult to see, only the symptoms which it produces should be taken seriously and investigated. Mostly pronounced symptoms develop only after the enlarged ovaries start affecting the other organs. Here we present you 9 early warning signs of ovarian cancer:

1. Bloating:

This is often the most ignored symptoms, taking it for granted because of bad eating habits. People often get it confused with premenstrual syndrome.

Bloating is an indication of enlarged ovaries. Your tummy size increases to accommodate the larger ovaries.

2. Back, Pelvic or Abdominal Pain: 

Women suffering from ovarian cancer will have fluid in the abdomen which causes lower back pain. Also when the tumor has spread to the pelvic region, severe back pain which affects the day-to-day activity is often seen.

Back pain which does not seems to be associated with any activity and is frequent then you should immediately consult a doctor as it might be an indication of tumors in the ovary and or pelvic region. It produces pressure on the lower back and pelvic region.

3. Loss of Appetite and weight Loss:

The abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen due to ovarian cancer produces a feeling of fullness. The hunger reduces drastically and the accumulated fluid produces the feeling of bloated.

You will quickly feel full as soon as you start eating. It also causes constipation and the patient tends to lose weight drastically.

4. Cramping:

Women during their normal menstrual cycle often experience cramps and the occurrence of crams psi taken for granted a sit is part and parcel of their womanhood.

But the occurrence of persistent cramps should be taken as warning symptoms. Indigestion or Upset Stomach: The upset abdomen sends various signals of ovarian cancer and one of them is heartburn.

The upset stomach makes you feel nauseated all the time. If you feel there is heartburn without any specific reason and you are on a good tummy-friendly diet then seek professional help to identify the underlying cause. 

5. Increased Urge to Urinate:

The ovarian cancer cells or the abnormally fluid accumulated fluid compress the bladder making the urge to urinate. When the women go to pee, nothing would come out.

Your bladder isn’t full to urinate it is only the pressure on the bladder which is giving the signals to pee. Women often ignore this symptom as an indication of urinary tract infections and antibiotics will not be of any use. Your frequent toilet trips will be exhausting and embarrassing!

6. Increased Abdominal Girth:

Your waist region tends to grow bigger without any specific reason. The stomach seems to be bloated all the time.

Your feeling of fullness and indigestion makes you understand it as a digestive problem while the reason would be increased ovarian size.

7. Unexplained Exhaustion: 

Women tend to feel tired and exhausted for no reason. There will be difficulty in breathing as ovaries suppress lungs making it difficult o exhale and inhale. The frequent fatigues make it difficult to perform daily chores.

8. Painful Sex: 

This can be due to either vaginal dryness or the tumor has made an entry in the vagina. The hormonal changes cause the vagina to become dry resulting in discomfort during sex.

The cancerous growth of ovaries can start pushing in the vagina hence while having sex it will be very painful.

9. Menstrual Changes:  

The frequency of menstruation increases. The normal cycle will be disrupted. Even in postmenopausal women, the period starts due to abdominal production of hormones and it looks like menstrual bleeding.

The periods will be like normal periods with all its cramps and abdominal pain. Depending upon the individual the bleeding will be either heavier or irregular. 

How to Prevent Ovarian Cancer: 

There can be several contributing factors that put you at risk of ovarian cancer including age, genetics, mutations, endometriosis, women who had breast, uterine, or colorectal (colon) cancer, etc.

There is no straight way to prevent ovarian cancer, but the following measures can help you

  • Birth control pills reduce the risk of ovarian cancer
  • Women who had given birth to the number of children is less likely to develop it
  • Tubal ligation (the procedure to tie fallopian tubes)
  • The surgical removal of ovaries is also done for women who are at risk

A healthy diet and exercise is key for prevention of diseases including ovarian cancer

READ ALSO: Uterine Fibroids Symptoms

Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer:

Early detection of cancer helps you in treating the disease and the rates of survival will be higher. The early warning signs of ovarian cancer should be analyzed and the following tests should be performed if any of the tests are found to be positive consult a gynecologic oncologist.

Pelvic exam: Rectovaginal exam should be done annually to examine for abnormal growth.

Transvaginal Sonography: This vaginal ultrasound is performed, if there is any abnormality in the pelvic exam. It is also performed in women who are at increased risk of ovarian cancer.

CA-125 Test: CA-125 is a protein commonly produced by cancerous ovarian cells. The test is performed on women who are at high risk or have an abnormal pelvic examination.

A positive CA-125 need not necessarily indicate ovarian cancer; certain other disease conditions also cause CA-125 to increase.

Ovarian cancer symptoms are often misleading women might think it is a part of the normal menstrual cycle, urine infection, indigestion, constipation, increased abdominal girth due to bloating, etc.

If the symptoms are persistent and you are at risk, then better consult a doctor. Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer detection will give you more treatment options before it spreads to other parts of the body. A pelvic exam and transvaginal sonography can be helpful in early detection.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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