Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer Not Easy To Detect

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Symptoms of ovarian cancer are often misdiagnosed, as they can be confused with symptoms of other less severe illnesses, particularly gastrointestinal complaints.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are often misdiagnosed, as they can be confused with symptoms of other less severe illnesses, particularly gastrointestinal complaints.

Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of all female cancers. The cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages.

This is partly due to the fact that the ovaries, two small, almond-shaped organs on either side of the uterus, are deep within the abdominal cavity. The following are often identified by women as some of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or menstrual changes

 

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are often misdiagnosed, as they can be confused with symptoms of other less severe illnesses, particularly gastrointestinal complaints.

Persistence of Symptoms

When the symptoms are persistent, when they do not resolve with normal interventions (like diet change, exercise, laxatives, rest) it is imperative for a woman to see her doctor. Persistence of symptoms is key. Because these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer have been described as vague or silent, only approximately 19 percent of ovarian cancer is diagnosed in the early stages. Symptoms typically occur in advanced stages when tumor growth creates pressure on the bladder and rectum, and fluid begins to form.

There is no routine, simple test to accurately detect ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is diagnosed annually in nearly a quarter of a million women globally, and is responsible for 140,000 deaths each year. Statistics show that just 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years compared to up to 89% of women with breast cancer.

Fact: Many women mistakenly believe a cervical smear test (or Pap test) will detect ovarian cancer. It does not. It detects pre-cancerous changes to cells of the cervix, which is treated much more successfully than ovarian cancer.

Sources National Ovarian Cancer Coalition; World Ovarian Cancer Day

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