Surprising Signs of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about the unexpected signs of ovarian cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1 in 71 women get invasive ovarian cancer, and 1 in 95 die from the disease. The earlier cancer is detected, the more likely a person’s story has a happy ending. However, when it comes to early stage ovarian cancer, symptoms can be surprisingly hard to spot and easy to attribute to other causes. In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to share a few important facts about ovarian cancer:

  • Unfortunately, many women diagnosed with ovarian cancer report no early symptoms at all.
     
  • When women do experience symptoms, they sometimes include fatigue, abdominal bloating or feeling of fullness, abdominal pressure or pain, pelvic pain or pressure, feeling full after eating only very small amounts of food, nausea, constipation, urgent and/or frequent urination, back pain, pain during intercourse and changes in menstrual cycle.
     
  • While these symptoms are often associated with issues aside from ovarian cancer, in the case of ovarian cancer they commonly persist and worsen.
     
  • The rule of thumb is, if you have symptoms that last longer than two weeks, talk with your doctor.
     
  • There is no screening test for ovarian cancer. An annual pap smear can help spot cervical cancer, but ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed via an ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, PET scan, laparoscopy or other non-routine tests.

To learn more about the cancer services offered at the Medical Center of Plano, visit us online. For more information about ovarian cancer, please visit our online Health Library. Do you need a physician referral? Please call 1-855-665-TMCP.

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