The eight most important warning signs of ovarian cancer
Abdominal bloating or swelling:In signs of ovarian cancer the size of your abdomen increases, you feel bloated and full of gas. You might notice that some clothes feel tighter around your waist and hips.
Pelvic pain: You feel discomfort or pain in the pelvic area, and sometimes also in the abdomen. If your pain persists, you shouldn’t just brush it away, or mask it with painkillers. Your pain usually wants to give you an important message. There are also other possible causes for this pain and you can read about them in my article: Ovary Pain and Lower Pelvic Pain – 13 Possible Causes.
Low back pain, especially if it radiates to the pelvic area.
Urgent or frequent urination: You feel an urgent need to pee and you hardly make it to the toilet on time, and/or you need to urinate in short intervals. Many women experience this – it can often be a sign of weak pelvic floor muscles (which can be strengthen by Kegel exercises), or you might have a urinary tract infection. But keep an eye on it, as it can be a sign of something more sinister going on.
Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly when you eat: Also observe any unexplained weight loss. Women are usually happy when they shed a few pounds, but it’s not always a good sign.
Pain with sexual activity
Fatigue: Feeling overly tired and low in energy can signal an underlying condition.
It doesn’t mean you need to have all of the above symptoms. Sometimes one can be enough to signal there is something doggy going on. If the symptoms continue for two weeks or longer, it might be time to visit your doctor to check things out.
Until now the science hasn’t found the real causes of ovarian cancer, but several factors are known to increase the chances of developing the disease. Ovarian cancer is more likely to develop in these groups of women:
- White women, especially in Northern Europe
- Women who have never been pregnant or had children
- Women over 50. Half of the diagnosed cases are women over 65.
- Women who had breast cancer
- Women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, endometrial (uterus), prostate or colon cancer
- Women with genetic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. (Not all women with these genetic mutations of breast cancer will develop ovarian cancer)
- Women who have a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, sister) diagnosed with ovarian cancer.