Ovarian cancer results when free radical damage or oxidative stress over the organ induces damage to the normal cells resulting in the formation of abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably and form a tumor.
When this tumor is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can rapidly spread to other internal organs.
Ovaries are basically reproductive glands that produce ova. Other than that they also produce two main female hormones namely estrogen and progesterone.
In the United States alone more than 22,000 women get diagnosed for ovarian cancer every year. And a major portion of the women diagnosed with the condition dies from it.
Most cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed at a much later stage when the cancer cells had infected the other internal organs, making the condition much harder to treat.
Only about 20 percent of ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. Though ovarian cancer is considered to be the most dangerous type of cancer with a higher percentage of fatality, it can be cured and controlled easily when it is detected at an early stage.
Ovarian cancer only gives out very vague and minor symptoms in its earlier stages, and most of these symptoms easily get brushed aside or dismissed.
In this article, we will go through the five major and vital symptoms and signs which could indicate the presence of the condition.
If you find yourself reflecting most of these symptoms, it is best to get it checked immediately to dismiss your suspicion.
Bloating and feeling of heaviness
Bloating is considered very normal for most women. It is very natural to feel bloated and heavy in your stomach area, especially during your period times. However, a constant feeling of heaviness that lasts for weeks is not.
Bloating that is persistent is one of the most symptoms that could indicate the presence of ovarian cancer. If you notice an obvious swelling in your stomach with abdominal distention, then it raises a red flag for the condition.
While constipation is also a common occurrence, you need to know that it could be a warning sign of a nurturing tumor. One of the ways your body lets you know that something is not right on the inside is through the gastrointestinal tract.
If you are constantly experiencing difficulties with your bowel movements that are not corrected by any kind of medication, then it could be a potential warning sign.
Persistent pain in lower abdomen and back
Bloating can cause heaviness, pressure in your abdomen that can cause pain the lower stomach, and back. While it is hard to tell if its due to cancer or due to a problem in gastrointestinal tract, if you have frequent outbreaks in pain or have a constant pain in your stomach area for weeks together, bring it to the attention of your physician as early as possible instead of trying to find out a relief by yourself.
Change in Urinary Cycle or bladder function
It is very typical for a woman to experience abnormalities in their bladder function. Most often it is brushed off as urinary tract infection, and most likely it is.
However, sudden changes in your bladder function, and urinary issues that are persistent for weeks could be a sign of a gynecological problem such as ovarian cancer.
Check your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Persistent pressure or pain in the bladder
- Frequent need to urinate than you usually do
- Sort of urgency in your need to urinate
Loss of Appetite
This is the most common and most apparent sign of the presence of a tumor in your ovary.
One of the things you might notice with your food habits is that you have not only lost your appetite, but also feel fuller by eating a very little amount of food. If that sounds like what you are going through right now, then contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Presence of Ascites in stomach and legs
Although water retention is a sign of the advanced stage of ovarian cancer, it can form in its earlier stages as well. If you notice abnormal bloating and presence of fluids in your stomach and fluid retention in your legs, then it is a big red flag for the condition.