Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. It affects one in every 75 women (1). This might sound scary as nobody wants to imagine getting cancer. To be safe and catch the symptoms early on, it’s important that you are aware of the signs of ovarian cancer and prepare to fight it if it shows up.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance or OCRFA suggests that most of the symptoms that indicate ovarian cancer are due to something else. The key is to watch out for any big change from your routine and see a doctor if the symptoms persist. Notify your doctor at once if you think you have something serious. If caught early, ovarian cancer can be treated much easily than other cancers.
The seven symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
1. Bloating with pain:
If you feel an inexplicable bloating with pain and pressure in the lower abdomen, then there is something wrong. It is one of the top indicators of a possible ovarian cancer as per the ‘Consensus Statement’ as signed by the OCRFA and other cancer research organizations to record a unified list of key symptoms. If you see yourself bloating frequently for no apparent reason, it might be time to see your doctor.
2. Serious loss of appetite:
If you are unable to eat or can feel full quickly, it could be a sign of ovarian cancer. So, if you are not able to eat or have no interest in food or feel uncomfortably full, you should talk to your doctor at once.
3. Abdominal or pelvic pain:
Pelvic pain can be worrisome especially if you are not menstruating. If you have such a symptom, then seek your doctor’s advice at the earliest.
4. Frequent urination:
You may notice a change in the urination patterns. One of the signs is to have to urinate much more frequently and urgently than normal. If you have to visit the bathroom all the time, then it is a sign you should not ignore and seek medical advice.
5. Changes in your menstrual cycle:
If your periods are heavier than usual all of a sudden, or if you have spotting in between periods for no apparent reason, there can be something more serious. These give you clues to a possible ovarian cancer and you should not lose time speaking to your doctor.
Insomnia once in a while may be normal. But if your sleeping patterns are changing drastically with you not able to sleep, then it can be the time to press the alarm button. You may be awake most of the hours in the night or may have problems falling asleep the following day and feel totally exhausted. It could be a sign of ovarian cancer that you should not ignore.
7. Severe back pain:
Your uterus is very close to your back. This is precisely why when you have any problems in the uterus you also feel pain in the lower back. It tells you why your menstrual cycle also results in backaches. If the back pain prevents you from carrying out a regular day’s tasks normally, then you should get yourself checked out.
Detecting cancer early on is crucial to easy recovery. As ovarian cancer is easier to treat than other types of cancer, it is important that you catch the signs early on. Listen to the symptoms of your body. While the symptoms may scare you, it is useful to have the knowledge beforehand for early treatment.