Ovarian cancer is one of the silent killers - this means that the disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose before it has developed into an advanced stage. There are certain indicators that are going to be presented throughout the article, that can help you catch the disease before it is too late. Some of these symptoms are bloating in the stomach and feeling unusually full after even having a small snack. Do talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms for a long period of time.
The Silent Killer
One of the worst things about ovarian cancer is that this disease is one of the so-called "silent killers" - those are diseases that show little to no almost no visible symptoms. They can be extremely hard for doctors to properly diagnose and catch on time.
One of the easiest to recognize indicators of ovarian cancer is a persisting stomach bloating, followed up with a feeling of being unusually full even after eating a small meal. Do have a talk with your doctor if these digestion problems continue for prolonged periods.
Just like most other diseases and illnesses, ovarian cancer also presents a handful of common symptoms - like trouble eating, troubling urinating, fatigue, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, menstrual irregularities, and having pain during sex. If you have any of these symptoms alongside others from this article, do talk to your doctor.
Genetics Play a Role
Women that have a family history of ovarian cancer, are more at risk for. If your mother, grandmother or other relative has had the disease, that means you will have a statistically higher chance of developing this type of cancer. Get the odds on your side, by having regular screenings at your gynecologist's office.
How to Get Diagnosed
To get a proper diagnosis, women need to get pelvic exams. That is the only way to be 100% sure whether you have ovarian cancer. Everything else, including checking for symptoms is just a preventative measure until the real exam takes place.
Ovarian Cancer Spreads Rapidly
Sadly, ovarian cancer is one of the fastest spreading cancers. In some cases, there have been women that go to their regular annual screenings at their gynecologist, and they still managed to develop cancer, undetected, between the two annual visits.
Catching It Early On Is Essential
The earlier you can catch ovarian cancer, the better your chances of treating it are going to be. If caught in the early stages, surgically treating ovarian cancer is not that difficult, and the survival chances for all women are pretty high.
Persistence of Symptoms
The persistence of the symptoms listed in this article is what matters. Everyone can have the occasion heartburn, indigestion or fatigue issues - the problem arises if these symptoms continue for long periods of time - weeks, if not even months.
Birth Control Pills Can Lower Your Risk
A little-known fact about ovarian cancer is that the long-term use of birth control pills can actually lower your chances of developing this dangerous illness. Another way to prevent ovarian cancer, according to a recent study is to breastfeed your future babies.
Don't Be Embarrassed
A lot of women shy away from visiting the doctor, due to different fears. Some girls don't want to be seen as "fakers," or "exaggerators," but going for a doctor's visit each time you have health problem is not exaggerating - in fact, it is a pretty normal and responsible thing to do.
Another indicator of potential ovarian cancer is having pain the pelvic or belly area, that feels different from usual indigestion and menstrual problems (like cramps). Most patients that developed ovarian cancer complained of abdominal pain for more than 2 weeks.
Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite
Many times, stomach bloating comes with a loss of appetite. If the loss of appetite persists for longer than a week, it is normal to lose weight. The reason for the loss of appetite is the location of the ovaries - they are close to the stomach, which means a tumor growing on them, is going to "press" on your stomach.
Having swollen legs and ankles are one of the best indicators of having certain cancers and bodily complications. This type of swelling is called an "edema," which is a type of fluid accumulation. Pressing parts of the skin with edema will make an indent.
Around half of all ovarian cancers, are found in women over the age of 60 (meaning they are in menopause). This also means that the condition is mostly post-menopausal. If your period has stopped, but you are seeing bleeding or spotting from time to time, that could be a bad sign.
Having Pelvic Discomfort
Pain is one of the last symptoms to come from ovarian cancer, but some women do report discomfort in their pelvic alongside abdominal swelling and bloating. If this type of pelvic discomfort continues for more than 14 days, it means you could need an ultrasound.
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