Ovarian Cancer: Early Signs & Symptoms
The "Silent Killer"
You’ve probably heard that ovarian cancer is a “silent killer,” but there are often early warning signs. Unfortunately, some of the earliest symptoms are easy for both people with cancer and their doctors to dismiss.
The Earliest Warning Signs
It’s easy to overlook the earliest warning signs for ovarian cancer. These include:
abdominal bloating, pressure, and pain
feeling abnormally full after eating
increased urination and urge to urinate
Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have ovarian cancer. However, see your gynecologist for a physical examination if you have several of these symptoms repeatedly during a single month or if they persist.
Women with ovarian cancer report a variety of other general symptoms too, such as:
indigestion and heartburn
These symptoms may occur for any number of reasons — not just with ovarian cancer. In fact, many women have some of these problems at one time or another. Symptoms are temporary and respond to simple treatments in most cases.
These symptoms will persist if they’re due to ovarian cancer. Contact your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms for a significant period of time.
Symptoms usually become more severe as the tumor grows and spreads. By the time symptoms become acute, the cancer has usually spread outside the ovaries. This makes it much harder to treat effectively.