Ovarian cancer symptoms manifest with the stages of development, and can only be experienced by affected patient. The signs of ovarian cancer are physical expressions that could be observed by your doctor.
Ovarian cancer is not easy to diagnose at the early stage because one, the symptoms are not manifesting fully yet; Two, the signs you see may be the same as that of ovarian cyst.
Ovarian cancer has a lot of symptoms similar to other non-cancerous formations or incidents such as gastro-intestinal diseases, reason being that the ovaries are located near the bladder. Let’s look at some of the symptom that are similar to that of ovarian cyst:
- Frequent changes in bowel movement.
- Persistent intestinal bloating or flatulence.
- You feel full too soon or you lose your appetite
- Increasing width of your abdominal girth.
Having any of these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have the cancer.
However, patients who are at menopause have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer, especially if they have ovarian cysts. One of the first signs of ovarian cancer is development of ovarian cyst on one or both of the ovaries, however, you may have ovarian cyst without having cancer but only proper diagnostic procedures can rule out any of such possibility.
How do I know if I have ovarian cancer
You might have to subject yourself to early medical evaluation if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer or cyst:
- Pain in the lower back.
- Pelvic/frequent waist pain.
- Persistent painful sex and/or periodic menstruation.
- Difficulty in emptying your bowels (urinary incontinence).
- Unusual vaginal bleeding.
- Persistent abdominal pain.
Advanced ovarian cancer symptoms
In advanced cases, the following symptoms may be noticeable:
- Edema (buildup of fluids in the leg), in the lungs cavities (pleural effusion)
- Bowel obstruction.
- Drastic weight loss.
The following factors may put you at a higher risk of having ovarian cancer:
Women above 50 years of age are more prone to ovarian cancer especially if they are at menopause and/or have had a history of ovarian cyst in the past. A study has revealed that two-thirds of women diagnosed of having ovarian cancer are at or above 55 years of age.
2. Body Mass Index (BMI)>30.
3. Family history of ovarian cancer.