Symptoms of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer does not cause many symptoms in its early stages. Most cases are found once the cancer has spread. Symptoms occurring in later stage of the cancer are caused by pressure of the growing cancer.
- Ongoing cramps or pain in the abdomen.
- Pain in the pelvis or low back.
- Abnormal bleeding from vagina.
- Post menopausal bleeding.
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina containing mucus with blood stained.
- Pain or bleeding during sex.
- Nausea or loss of appetite. Persistent indigestion.
- Lump or swelling in the abdomen.
- Change in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea.
- Change in bladder habits like urinary frequency or urgency.
- Weight loss.
- Family history of ovarian cancer.
- Inherited gene mutation.
- Age: Ovarian cancer developed most often after menopause.
- Childbearing status: Women who has not given birth to any child are more prone for ovarian cancer.
- Women with infertility has higher incidence of cancer.
- Hormone replacement therapy: There is increased risk of ovarian cancer among those who has taken HRT for long periods for more than five years.
- Obesity: Overweight women are more prone for ovarian cancer.
- Medical history.
- Physical examination.
- Pelvic examination.
- Pap test.
- Complete blood count.
- Pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound.
- Pelvic or abdominal CT scan or MRI.
- Measuring CA125 in blood.
Treatment: Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Several factors reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Oral contraception (birth control pills): Women who use birth control pills have reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Pregnancy and breast feeding: Having at least one child lowers the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Breast feeding also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Tubal ligation or hysterectomy: Reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.