Cancer is the most feared illness today. Ovarian cancer can kill you silently since it does not show visible earlier signs. It is one of the trickiest illnesses but it can be cured.
The only challenge is that ovarian cancer can spread more rapidly in the female reproductive system if not spotted earlier. That’s why experts at Sheba Medical Center advise women to seek medical attention immediately they experience the early signs we will share below. This will help to prevent it from spreading.
Nevertheless, the early signs are sometimes hard to tell whether it is ovarian cancer. In fact, most women might confuse them with other conditions.
Well, it might be difficult to prevent ovarian cancer, but there are certain things to lower the likelihood of suffering from it.
Of importance is to know the things that put you vulnerable to ovarian cancer.
That said, there are numerous early warning signs to tell whether you are suffering from ovarian cancer.
Currently, there are no reliable methods that can be used to detect ovarian cancer in its early stage. However, medical experts rely on pelvic examinations, blood tests, and ultrasound scans to diagnose it.
In that case, every woman should know and listen to their body. Apart from that, they should not ignore the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Risk Factors of Ovarian Cancer
There are certain risk factors that can increase the risk of getting ovarian cancer. Note that most women at the ages of 50 to 60 years are vulnerable to ovarian cancer.
If one of your relatives has had ovarian cancer, then your chances of developing it are also high.
Also, women who overconsume doses of estrogen for an extended period of time without progesterone or those who use an IUD for birth control have higher chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Another risk factor of ovarian cancer is having a history of endometriosis.
If the above risk factors apply to you, then you should consider having early testing options.
Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer
Here are the early warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
- Abdominal Pains and Bloating
Abdominal pains and bloating are symptoms that indicate menstruation in women. Some few days before menstruation, you will start to feel a sense of fullness and gassiness which lasts for a short period of time.
However, if the pains are severe in the pelvic area, it could indicate ovarian cancer. Also, if the abdominal pains last for more than 2 weeks and is not associated with your menstrual cycle, it could be a sign of ovarian cancer.
When you start belching or gassiness which sometimes might be confused with overeating or gastrointestinal disorders, it could be an indication of ovarian cancer.
- Abnormal Bleeding
Abdominal bleeding, especially between periods is an indication of some serious problems. In addition, spotting after menopause can indicate symptoms of a disease. Abdominal bleeding can either indicate endometrial distortion or ovarian cancer.
- Frequent Need to Urinate
Well, for women who above the ages of 50 years, feeling the urge to urinate frequently can be a sign of weak pelvic floor muscles. It can also be an indication of a UTI.
However, at younger ages, it can be a sign of ovarian cancer. Usually, this occurs when the ovarian neoplasm presses on the lining of the bladder thus increasing the urge to urinate frequently.
- Pains During Intercourse
When you start to feel pains during intercourse, especially during penetration, it can be a sign of an infection. But when the pains become severe, you could be developing ovarian cancer.
Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
These are some of the tests and procedures that can diagnose ovarian cancer.
- Pelvic Exam
This test involves the doctor inserting a finger into the vagina and pressing the abdomen to feel the pelvic and cervix.
- Blood Tests
Blood tests can also help to diagnose ovarian cancer. However, blood tests do not give a conclusive clue about the development of ovarian cancer.
Sometimes your doctor will request you to undergo surgery to take out one of your ovaries for it to be examined to diagnose ovarian cancer.
Once your doctor has done all or some of the tests above he or she will then be able to know the stage of your ovarian cancer. In this case, the doctor will tell you whether your cancer is in stage one (I), two (II) and so on.
As we wrap up this article, we should let you know that you are your own doctor. You should be keen to every change that happens in your body, and seek medical advice in case you feel any or other signs we have not shared here.