What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
The symptoms of ovarian cancer have long been described as vague. Yet, in most cases, women experience very real symptoms that may be overlooked or misdiagnosed as a more benign condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or menopause.
Experts in gynecological cancer now agree that most women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer experience one or more of these four symptoms:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Other symptoms may be present as well:
- Back pain
- Pain with intercourse
- Menstrual irregularities
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms?
If a woman experiences one or more of these symptoms as a change on a daily or near-daily basis for two weeks she should see her physician, or ideally her gynecologist.
Some diagnostic tools the doctor might use are a vaginal-rectal pelvic exam, a CA-125 blood test, a trans-vaginal ultrasound and a CT scan.