Ovarian cancer is a massive concern for all women. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate (a common measurement in life expectancy) for ovarian cancer is only 45 percent, all types included. That number, coupled with the fact that the disease is very hard to identify by doctors in its early stages, makes the growth nearly unstoppable, barring extreme luck. However, you can train yourself to try to recognize symptoms of ovarian cancer. The following are examples of common ailments that could be behind a tumor.
Abdominal swelling can be related to any number of health issues, but if you feel unusually bloated on a regular basis, that may be a sign of fluid buildup or growth of a mass, which ovarian cancer could cause. Be especially wary of this if you’re losing weight but still experiencing this symptom, the American Cancer Society suggests.
2. Pelvic or abdominal pain
If you’re consistently feeling pain in your pelvic or abdominal areas, that could also be a sign of a harmful growth. Feeling an odd amount of pressure in those parts of the body could also mean something unwelcome is pressing against your organs.
3. Problems with satiety
If you find yourself feeling unusually full very quickly and on a repeated basis, or not having much of an appetite at all, that could also mean your body is developing ovarian cancer. When frequently coupled with an upset stomach or constipation, this can be a serious sign.
4. Urinary difficulties
Always feeling like you may be about to have an accident unless you run to the bathroom can be an indicator of ovarian cancer — and so can the need to go much more often than your body usually should.
5. Other things to watch out for
If you’re experiencing an unusual amount of pain during intercourse, suffer from fatigue, back pain or strange changes in your menstrual cycle, you may also be in danger.
For any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to keep in mind ovarian cancer is just one of many possible causes, and you shouldn’t jump to conclusions too quickly unless you experience a combination of these signs or feel somehow different. Another reason to be wary would be a history of ovarian cancer in your family, as the disease can be hereditary, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. You should also get a checkup if you’re suffering from some of these symptoms and have previously had breast cancer or are undergoing hormone replacement therapy, the website suggests.
Next time you see a gynecologist, ask your doctor about these symptoms specifically when voicing your concern, as early stage ovarian cancers are difficult to pinpoint without specific guidance. Your vigilance may just be what saves you.
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