According to researchers from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, women with a family history of breast, colorectal or ovarian cancers are at higher risk. These women should take common exams including pelvic exam with ultrasound and CA 125 blood test.
Below you can read the symptoms which are common for ovarian cancer and also for many other diseases.
Characteristic for the cancer is the symptom persistence. That’s why, if the symptoms are persistent more than two weeks, it is recommended to visit a doctor.
Maybe you will have only one symptom but it can be a sign that can save your life.
10 warning signs of ovarian cancer
• Pelvic discomfort and pain
• Pressure, fullness and bloating
• Increased urination frequency
• Pain with sexual activity
• Indigestion or persistent gas
• Pain in the lower back
• Appetite loss or feeling full after eating
• Increase of your stomach size
Most of the risk for ovarian cancer is related to the amount of time spent in ovulation. Thus not having children is a risk factor for ovarian cancer, likely because ovulation is suppressed via pregnancy.
Both obesity and hormone replacement therapy also raise the risk.
Things that halt ovulation including breast feeding, oral contraceptive use with estrogen/progesterone combination contraceptives, multiple pregnancies, and pregnancy at an early age, all decrease risk of ovarian cancer. These conditions decrease the overall time during one’s lifetime spent ovulating. A positive family history of ovarian cancer is a risk factor for ovarian cancer. People with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (Lynch Syndrome), and those with BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genetic abnormalities are at increased risk.
Suppression of ovulation, which would otherwise cause damage to the ovarian epithelium and, consequently, inflammation, is generally protective. This effect can be achieved by having children, taking combined oral contraceptives, and breast feeding, all of which are protective factors. A longer period of breastfeeding correlates with a larger decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer. Each birth decreases risk of ovarian cancer more, and this effect is seen with up to five births. Combined oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 50%, and the protective effect of combined oral contraceptives can last 25–30 years after they are discontinued. Regular use of aspirin or acetaminophen (paracetamol) may be associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer; other NSAIDs do not seem to have a similar protective effect.
Tubal ligation is protective because carcinogens are unable to reach the ovary and fimbriae via the vagina, uterus, and Fallopian tubes. Tubal ligation is also protective in women with the BRCA1 mutation, but not the BRCA2 mutation. Hysterectomy reduces the risk, and removal of both Fallopian tubes and ovaries (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) dramatically reduces the risk of not only ovarian cancer, but breast cancer as well. This is still a topic of research, as the link between hysterectomy and lower ovarian cancer risk is controversial. The reasons that hysterectomy may be protective have not been elucidated as of 2015.
A diet that includes large amounts of carotene, fiber, and vitamins with low amounts of fat—specifically, a diet with non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli and onions)—may be protective, though research is still ongoing in this area. Higher caffeine intake and consumption of more than two cups of tea a day have both been associated with lower ovarian cancer risk. Smoking tobacco is protective for sex cord-stromal tumors.