Ovarian cancer has been dubbed the “silent murderer” because as in other types of cancers, the symptoms may appear when the disease is already well advanced and difficult to treat. This type of cancer is the second most common gynecological type of cancer among women, but which has a higher mortality rate because in almost all cases it is discovered when it is too late.
According to reports in recent years, only 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survive up to 5 years after initial diagnosis. This is because in many cases it is detected at an advanced stage. However, experts say that early detection of this disease increases life expectancy up to 95%.
Warning signs of ovarian cancer
The following symptoms have been linked to ovarian cancer, but can also be signs of other health problems. Having these in mind and identifying them can be key to early detection of the disease and to receiving timely treatment.
- Abdominal bloating or swelling: if you notice that you often have this problem, it is best to consult with a doctor.
- Digestive symptoms: in addition to abdominal bloating, symptoms such as indigestion, constipation, abdominal cramps and discomfort, or any change in bowel habits are also warning signs.
- Pelvic pain: pelvic pain can be a very important signal of this disease. If the pain is frequent and seems to have no explanation, it is best to consult with a doctor and avoid masking it with some kind of painkiller.
- Back pain: if you experience pain in the lower back and have no reason to explain it, this can be another symptom of the disease.
- Frequent and uncontrolled urination: if suddenly you start to feel the urge to urinate frequently and you almost cannot control it, it’s possible that something may not be right.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss: many women often feel very happy when they inexplicably lose much weight, but they should know that this is not normal and may be a sign that something is very wrong in the body.
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Other symptoms to keep in mind
- Vaginal bleeding in postmenopausal women
- Nausea or vomiting
- Frequent stomach pain
Diagnosis of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect because symptoms do not usually appear in the early stages of the disease. However, if you experience some of the symptoms mentioned above and consult with a physician, it can be diagnosed early through ultrasound, tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a blood test called CA-12.
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