Today, cancer is one of the leading cause of death around the world. In fact, it is to blame for over 30 percent of all deaths in Canada alone, which is far more compared to any other disease. As estimated by the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, ovarian cancer had 2800 new cases and 1750 deaths in Canada, and 22,280 new cases and 14,240 deaths in the United States in 2016 alone.
WHAT IS OVARIAN CANCER?
Ovarian cancer develops when the cells of the ovaries form tumors that become malignant. Known as “the silent killer” because it is very difficult to be seen with screening and it does not show a lot of symptoms. Even though it mostly develops in post-menopausal women, nowadays the cases of ovarian cancer in women in their 30s and 40s and even younger, are increasing more and more.
British experts claim that if the ovarian cancer is detected in an early stage, the changes of survival are higher, so it is important to check in with your doctor more often and pay attention to the signs that the body is sending.
Unluckily, currently there isn’t any reliable test. CA125 blood tests may give false negatives while smear tests are not capable of picking up malignant cells. There is yet another problem, though. Many of the symptoms are often mistaken for those associated with other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Consequently, the tumor gets diagnosed at stage 3, when it becomes too late.
4 SYMPTOMS THAT MAY BE SIGNS OF OVARIAN CANCER
LOWER ABDOMINAL AND PELVIC PAIN
Although menstrual cramps and pain during menstruation are ordinary persistent pain that lasts for more than three weeks can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Pre-menopausal women should be especially careful, as these symptoms are often easily passed off for period pain.
Consistent and frequent bloating, that goes on for more than three weeks, often indicates a cancerous tumor growth.
DIFFICULTY EATING/FEELING FULL QUICKLY
A decrease in appetite that comes out of the blue and goes on for more than three weeks can be a sign of various ailments, among which stomach, intestine, and bowel issues are the most common. However, it can be a sign of cancer as well, so make sure you consult your doctor.
INCREASED NEED TO URINATE
In case you find yourself visiting the toilet much more often than earlier, without any changes regarding the liquid intake, it is very likely that you have early stages of ovarian cancer. Another sign that indicates ovarian cancer is an urgent need to pee and inability to hold it.
Majority of these symptoms can be easily mistaken for issues and diseases with the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, if you experience any of them and you haven’t earlier, it is crucial to monitor their persistence and frequency. If they don’t subside in a few weeks, consult your doctor and get checked as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that monitoring our health and learning to recognize the symptoms is the key to early detection and an increased chance of survival.