Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women; unfortunately, many cases of ovarian cancer go undetected for a long time, making the battle against it more difficult. Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the ovaries and form a tumor. The abnormal cell growth in the ovaries leads to a number of seemingly commonplace symptoms. Many of these symptoms are brushed off for years because they are so commonplace and mirror exactly the everyday ailments of getting older. Here are ten signs of ovarian cancer that you should be aware of. Be sure to share them with your family and friends to spread awareness.
- Bloating – There are many causes of bloating including menstrual cycle changes, hormones changes and weight gain. However, persistent bloating in the abdomen that does not go away or be explained otherwise should be checked out by a doctor.
- Dermatomyositis – This is an uncommon inflammatory disease that causes an itchy and painful rash on the face, eyelids, knees, elbows, back, and chest. It is also frequently accompanied by weakness in the muscles and is a sign of ovarian cancer.
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate – While frequent urges to urinate become more common as we get older, a sudden change in the frequency or urgency should be examined by a doctor.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain –Any pain – acute or tenderness – that persists for longer than two weeks should be examined by a doctor.
- Pain during Sex – also called dyspareunia – may indicate ovarian cancer, but it also may be a symptom of an infection or inflammatory disease. If the pain persists for longer than two weeks, see your doctor.
- Menstrual Changes – Sudden changes in your menstrual cycle or irregular bleeding may be a result of hormone changes, stress, weight gain, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, they may also indicate ovarian cancer. If you haven’t yet, be sure to see your gynecologist immediately to find the cause and set a baseline with your pap smears.
- Heartburn – Sudden heartburn with no changes to the diet, no weight gain, and no diagnosis of a hiatal hernia should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
- Constipation – Similar to heartburn, constipation can be caused by many things, including a low-fiber diet, hormone changes, or dehydration. But know too that constipation is also a sign of ovarian cancer and should be checked out.
- Back pain – Back pain – particularly in the lower back – is a prevalent symptom of ovarian cancer. This sign often is ignored because back pain is so common.
- Fullness or trouble eating – Another sign of ovarian cancer is trouble eating. This is often caused by a feeling of being full even when one hasn’t eaten or feeling like one has eaten too much after a healthy sized meal.
Regular testing and open discussions with your doctors help protect you from a variety of health conditions and fosters early detection and treatment. If you are interested in finding a testing center for your diagnostic testing needs, consider Independent Imaging. The professionals at Independent Imaging understand the concerns of women who come for diagnostic testing. Their professional and compassionate associates treat patients in a courteous and respectful manner. To make an appointment at one of their 4 convenient locations in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade, call 561-795-5558 today. You can also request an appointment online.