Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Options

Ovarian cancer is one of the top ten deadliest cancers in the US.  However if the disease is caught in the early stages, there is an excellent chance to cure it or at least control it for many years to come. So it is very important to be aware of key ovarian cancer symptoms.

Ovarian cancer originates in the tissues of the ovary.  It may start in the cells which are located on the surface of the ovaries.  This is called epithelial ovarian cancer.  Or it can start in the egg cells directly and results in a germ cell tumor.  The cause of this disease is not known but the risk of contracting it is greater for women who are older and those who have a close family history of the disease.

It used to be thought that this disease was a silent killer because the symptoms were not very obvious or pronounced.  However if you pay attention to the symptoms below you have a good chance of identifying the disease in its early stages and achieve a full recovery.  So here are some important symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen – This is the most common symptom for ovarian cancer. The patient may feel constant pain in the stomach, colon, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas which can range from mild to severe.  The only problem with this symptom is that it can be caused by many other things.
  • Pelvic pain is a common symptom for ovarian cancer as well.  Be aware of this and keep in mind that it can be due to other factors such as the way you sit.
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods – If vaginal bleeding occurs before or after the regular menstrual cycle, this should be looked into further.  It is especially important for women who have already gone through menopause.
  • Nausea is a common symptom of this disease.  However it is also associated with many other illnesses or even something you ate.  So be alert to it but keep in mind some other factors which may be at work.
  • Constipation – This condition makes it difficult to move your bowels.  If/when it does occur the stool is generally dry and hard.  These symptoms may also be the result of many other things but it is important to note it with your doctor for further review.
  • Loss of appetite – People who are suffering from ovarian cancer may have little desire to eat. If this continues for more than a few days then further review is necessary.
  • Painful intercourse – This condition may result from ovarian cancer and causes the woman to have discomfort during intercourse.
  • Fatigue – A lack of energy is a common symptom of this disease.  If you are feeling very sluggish or tired for no real reason, further investigation should be made.
  • Changes in menstrual cycle – Any changes in a women’s menstrual cycle can be indicative of a problem related to ovarian cancer.  However this problem can be attributed to many other factors so it’s important investigate the cause carefully.

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