Ovarian cancer is a very common cancer in women that affects their ovaries. This cancer is often called the “silent killer” because the symptoms of this cancer usually do not appear until it is very late for treatment. Experts in the health care sector say that women who experience symptoms regularly for more than three weeks must visit a doctor. However, you need to keep in mind that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are quite vague and can be the signs of some other health issues as well.

Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Medical science has identified three main symptoms that can help in the early detection of ovarian cancer. These symptoms are:

  • Feeling full very fast while eating, that it is unable for you to have a full meal;
  • Pain in the pelvic region or abdominal bloating; and
  • Urge to urinate frequently.

These are the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer, but there are some advanced symptoms too that may appear as the cancer progress. Some of the advanced symptoms are listed below.

Changes in Bowel Movement

Symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or other changes in the bowel habit can be caused by the spread of ovarian cancer. The common symptoms of another health issue, irritable bowel syndrome, are usually the same as the bowel change symptoms experienced with the spread of ovarian cancer.

Persistent Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common cancer symptoms. It is true that physical fatigue is not unique to conditions like ovarian cancer and can be an indicator of some other less serious conditions too. However, in women with ovarian cancer, the cancer cells will fight with the normal and healthy cells to get energy, which leads to fatigue.

Pain during Sex

Lack of lubrication is one of the most common causes of pain during sex in women. In women with advanced ovarian cancer, the pain will be experienced in the pelvic region on the left or right side during sexual intercourse. Experts say that it is one of the most relevant indicators of ovarian cancer.

Abdominal Bloating and Weight Gain

Advanced ovarian cancer can lead to marked changes in the abdominal size of women. Distension (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal region) is the cause of this bloating. However, you need to understand that many other health conditions can also lead to bloating and abdominal cancer.

As you can see, even the advanced symptoms of ovarian cancer can be attributed to other health issues as well. So if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it will be better to consult with a doctor at our OBGYN free clinic and see whether you are at risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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