Ovarian cancer claims more lives than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. The most common risk factors include age, genetic predisposition and inadequate use of oral contraceptives. Normally, the symptoms of ovarian cancer only appear when the cancer has reached later stages and nearly 80% of women are diagnosed when the cancer has reached stage four. However, if you learn how to identify the warning signs your body sends before the cancer spreads, your chances of early detection and successful treatment increase significantly.
These are the 10 symptoms you should never ignore:
- Recurrent backaches
Excluding any type of joint pain or osteoporosis, frequent backaches can indicate ovarian cancer in development.
- Stomach and pelvic pain
Any type of pelvic or stomach pain requires immediate medical attention.
- Irregular periods
According to latest research, women over 55 are more at risk of developing ovarian cancer, a fact that doesn’t exclude younger women. Girls that haven’t got their first cycle are more susceptible to ovarian cancer.
- Constant unexplained fatigue
Women suffering from ovarian cancer often experience nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, poor appetite and constant fatigue. A high 80% of women experience at least one of these symptoms before their ovarian cancer is detected.
- Feeling full without eating much
The feeling of fullness, which most women mistake for indigestion, is another common symptom of ovarian cancer. This symptom requires immediate medical attention.
- Painful intercourse
Another crucial symptom of early ovarian cancer is pain during sexual intercourse, according to an article published in the Medical News Today. This is normally accompanied by a frequent and urgent need to urinate as well as pelvic pain and pressure. In case you experience this, see a doctor immediately.
Ovarian cancer is commonly accompanied by constipation, says Jeffrey Stern, a famous American gynecologist. As the cancer progresses, this evolves into nausea, vomiting and weigh loss.
Stomach swelling, which can resemble one in a pregnant woman, is an urgent sign to see a doctor.
This may not be the most common indicator of ovarian cancer, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Some women experience hair loss instead.
- Frequent constipation
Constipation is a common side effect of ovarian cancer, which directly influences the digestive system and the stomach. This symptom is most common when the cancer is in its early stage. Other accompanying symptoms include digestive disorder, loss of appetite and gases. Needless to mention, all of these require medical attention.
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