Women are quite often victims of ovarian cancer. According to statistics, at least 550 women get diagnosed with this cancer every year. Due to all this, early detection is of utmost importance.
The numbers are devastating especially if we take into consideration that ovarian cancer claims more lives than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The reason behind this astonishing death rate is that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague and until women start noticing that something is wrong it’s usually too late, the cancer has reached its final stage. Nearly 80% of women discover it in the last stage.
It’s not clear what exactly causes it, just like with any other type of cancer but among the highest risk factors we can list age, genetic predisposition and inadequate use of oral contraceptives. It is of vital importance that you detect its symptoms early and knowing what the most common warning signs are can increase your chances of successful treatment and survival significantly. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 most common symptoms of ovarian cancer which you should know, remember and never ignore because early detection saves lives.
Irregular cycles – According to latest research, women over 55 are more at risk of developing ovarian cancer. However this statistic still doesn’t exclude younger women, no one is safe from this silent killer. Even girls who still haven’t got their first cycle can fall victims to ovarian cancer.
Bloating – Bloating can happen on account of a number of reasons, which is why this symptom is almost always ignored. However, stomach swelling, which can resemble one in a pregnant woman, is an urgent sign to see a doctor.
Frequent constipation – Again, constipation can be a result of a number of things and when we get it ovarian cancer is the last thing we think of. We usually assume it’s the bad eating habits or some other harmless reason. However, you should know that constipation is one of the earliest and most common symptoms of ovarian cancer and it directly influences the digestive system and the stomach. Other accompanying symptoms include digestive disorder, loss of appetite and gases. If you notice any of these symptoms you should go see a doctor right away.
Excessive hair growth – This may not be the most common indicator of ovarian cancer and it can happen on account of many other things, but it still shouldn’t be ignored. On the other hand, some women experience hair loss caused by ovarian cancer, so any abnormal hair growth or loss should be checked out.
Frequent backaches – Unless you’re suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis or chronic joint inflammation, frequent backaches can be an early sign of ovarian cancer.
Pain in the stomach and pelvis – Any type of pelvic or stomach pain requires immediate medical attention.
Nausea – Jeffrey Stern, a renowned gynecologist list nausea in addition to constipation, abdominal pain and weight loss as one of the early signs of ovarian cancer.
Early satiety – The feeling of fullness, which most women mistake for indigestion, is another common symptom of ovarian cancer. This symptom requires immediate medical attention.
Pain during sexual intercourse – Medical News today lists pain during sexual intercourse as one of the crucial signs of an early stage ovarian cancer. This is normally accompanied by a frequent and urgent need to urinate as well as pelvic pain and pressure. If you experience any of these symptoms consult your doctor immediately.
Constant tiredness – If you’re feeling tired all the time without any particular reason, you might have ovarian cancer. 80% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer say that they experience one of the following symptoms just before they were diagnosed: nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, poor appetite and constant fatigue. One or more of these symptoms is a reason for concern and a trip to your doctor’s office.