Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is one of the scariest forms of cancer because it does not present any obvious symptoms. As a result, many women ignore the symptoms and don’t discuss them with their doctor. Symptoms only begin to show once the disease develops and progresses to a more serious stage.
It is estimated that only 20 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed early enough to put an effective treatment plan in place. Sadly, the early symptoms are so minor that women think it is a minor annoyance and go on with their lives without having a screening done.
It’s important to detect this silent killer in the early stages otherwise treatment will be less effective. Here are some of the early warning signs to look for and take seriously.
Often, women feel pain in the pelvic area or belly due to menstrual problems or indigestion. But the pain that occurs as a result of ovarian cancer is a bit different. Sometimes, the pain remains for 2-3 weeks. If the pain lasts this long it’s a sign that it’s something different from diarrhea, menstrual pain or stomach flu.
Ovarian cancer may also lead to persistent indigestion, nausea or gas issues. If you’re facing any of these problems, you should contact your healthcare expert. Some other gastrointestinal issues like heartburn can also be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Loss of Appetite
A significant loss of appetite is also a common problem that ovarian patients may face. Cancer reduces the production of energy by damaging the function of metabolism. It ultimately leads to a loss of appetite.
Another common system of ovarian cancer is frequent bloating or pain in the pelvis or abdomen. Normally, our abdomen feels bloated when we make changes to our diet or daily activity. If you haven’t made any changes to your daily routine and still your abdomen still feels bloated, you should consider visiting your doctor.
Urinary problems are also a common sign of ovarian cancer. If you start going to the bathroom more than normal and you haven’t made any changes to your hydration or drinking habits, it could be a sign of ovarian cancer. This is especially true if the urinary problems last for weeks and weeks. Inability to control your bladder is another frequent symptoms people experience.
Feeling Full Quickly
The cancer tumor may block the surface of the stomach in its advanced stages. As a result, patients start feeling full very quickly because the tumor grows on the intestines or the omentum. If you’re consistently facing this problem of feeling full even if you haven’t ate much, you may want to take a visit to your doctor.
Alternating Constipation and Diarrhea
Ovarian cancer can also cause problems like diarrhea and constipation. With the passage of time, the ovarian tumor starts putting pressure on the bladder, bowel and stomach. As a result, the patient starts suffering from bowel problems. And these problems keep getting worse if they aren’t treated right away.
Lower Back Pain
Although back pain is a common problem among men and women these days, persistent back pain can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Normally, the back pain makes it difficult for you to sit or sleep comfortably. But if you’re suffering from ovarian cancer, the pain will most probably feel like labor pain.
Sudden Weight Loss
The effect of ovarian cancer on weight is different for each person. Some patients start gaining weight while others start losing weight. If you haven’t made any changes to your habits, a rapid increase or decrease in your weight can be an alarming sign.
Obviously, vaginal bleeding occurs during the menstrual cycle. But if you’re experiencing irregular vaginal bleeding, you shouldn’t take it lightly. It may be a warning that ovarian cancer is developing inside your body. Sometimes, problems like thick discharge, changes in skin color (of the vagina) or abnormal sores or blisters in the vaginal area can also be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Shortness of Breath
If cancer has moved to its advanced stages, you would start experiencing shortness of breath. The tumor makes it difficult for you to breathe by pressing against the lungs.
Sometimes, women face difficulty in breathing when their organs and muscles are surrounded by a unique fluid called ascites. This fluid is generated gradually and it needs to be removed quickly otherwise it may put your life at risk.
Pain During Intercourse
Dyspareunia is another common sign of ovarian cancer. Under this condition, women face pain during intercourse. The pain is somewhat similar to the pain women feel with menstrual cramps. Some other health problems may also be a cause of dyspareunia. But it’s highly recommended that you consult a doctor if you’re experiencing pain.