4 Little-Known Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to multiply out of control and form a tumor. The tumor can then spread to other parts of the body. The ovaries are two female reproductive glands that produce ova, or eggs.
They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
More than 22,000 women will receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2017, and 14,000 women will die from it.
Causes of ovarian cancer
Although we know that ovarian cancer,
like many other cancers, is caused by cells dividing and multiplying in an unregulated way, nobody completely understands why cancer of the ovary occurs.
However, we know that the following risk factors are linked to a higher chance of developing the disease:
Women with close relatives who have had ovarian cancer, or breast cancer, have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to other women. Genetic screening can determine whether somebody carries certain genes that are associated with an increased risk.
The majority of ovarian cancers occur in women over 65.
High number of total lifetime ovulations
There is a link between the total number of ovulations during a woman’s life and the risk of ovarian cancer. Four main factors influence the total:
The more times a woman has become pregnant, the lower her risk is
Women who have never been on the contraceptive pill have a higher risk
Women who started their periods at an early age have a higher risk
Women whose menopause started later than average have a higher risk
Infertility or fertility treatment
Some studies have found a link between infertility treatment and a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Nobody knows whether the risk is because of the infertility treatment, infertility itself, or both.
Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
HRT (Hormone replacement therapy)
HRT slightly increases a women’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. Experts say that the risk increases the longer the HRT continues, and returns to normal as soon as treatment stops.
Being obese or overweight increases the risk of developing many cancers.\
Women who develop endometriosis have an approximately 30 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with other women.
Symptoms that May Indicate an Ovarian Cancer:
1. Constant Bloating
If you notice some consistent bloating (for more than three weeks), this can be a potential sign of a cancerous tumor.
2. Abdominal and Pelvic Pain
Some normal pain usually characterizes the menstrual period. However, if you experience menstrual cramps in the pelvic region, lower stomach and even the lower back that stick around until the period is gone this can be a potential sign of ovarian cancer. Post-menopausal women should be especially careful with these symptoms because they shouldn’t feel any pain at all.
3. Difficulty eating/feeling full
If there is a significant decrease in your appetite for a longer period than three weeks, consult your doctor. This can also indicate intestine, stomach, bowel problems and ovarian cancer.
4. Increased need to urinate
If there are no changes in your liquid intake, but still experiencing an increased need for urination, you may have an early stage ovarian cancer.
These symptoms can be easily mistaken for diseases connected to the gastrointestinal tract. So, make sure you monitor the persistent and frequency of these symptoms. If the symptoms are present for three weeks or more, consult your doctor about additional analyses of Ovarian cancer.
So, it is of crucial importance to monitor your health as a woman, because some early symptoms can save your life.