Ovarian cancer often has no symptoms (or only very mild ones) until it begins to spread beyond the ovaries. Unfortunately, there is no effective way of screening for ovarian cancer at this time. The effective treatment of ovarian cancer will be significantly increased if researchers can develop a screening test that helps doctors identify ovarian cancer at its early stages. Several large studies are currently underway, but the results will not be available for several years.
Some physical symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
– abdominal discomfort or pelvic pain
– difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
– frequent urination
– nausea, indigestion, loss of appetite
– weight loss
– change in bowel habits
– pain during intercourse
– abnormal vaginal bleeding (rare)
If you find that these symptoms last longer than three weeks or consistently are increasing in intensity, contact your doctor. One other thing to remember is that these symptoms can also be caused by other health issues, not necessarily cancer.
Some other causes could be bladder infections or digestive disorders. The best way to be sure is to get tested. In fact it is not uncommon for a woman to with ovarian cancer to be diagnosed with another condition before finally learning she has cancer.
Doctors can usually diagnose ovarian cancer within three months of women first noticing symptoms, but sometimes it may take six months or longer before a diagnosis can be made. I hope I’ve made the symptoms pretty clear and now you have some great info to go by.