Do You Know the Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer?

4 minute read

By HealthVersed

If you’re a woman, there’s one particular type of cancer that you need to be aware of: ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is incredibly difficult to catch early. Start a search online to learn about its warning signs and symptoms.

Ovarian cancer can affect any woman, at any age – which is why every woman should know the facts. This cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths, and it most often affects women age 35 and older.

The First Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer begins in a woman’s ovaries. Like all types of cancer, obvious physical symptoms aren’t often the first sign that something’s wrong within your body.

In fact, ovarian cancer often goes completely unnoticed until it’s spread to other parts of the body. The early stages of ovarian cancer rarely cause any symptoms – and that makes it very difficult to detect.

When symptoms do begin to appear, they can be more subtle than you might expect. They might even seem like other common, less dangerous conditions. Keep an eye out for these signs of ovarian cancer:

If you notice any of these potential symptoms – or if you’re concerned about changes in your health – make an appointment with your doctor. It’s important to pinpoint the cause of any changes, whether your doctor rules out ovarian cancer or requires additional screenings.

Factors That May Increase Your Risk

If you’re worried about developing ovarian cancer, it’s a smart idea to understand how much you’re at risk. While doctors and scientists haven’t pinpointed the exact cause of ovarian cancer, they have been able to identify certain risk factors that can make you more likely to develop the disease.

The following are individual factors that can increase your risk for ovarian cancer:

If you’re concerned about any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor. They will be able to recommend potential testing or screening that can offer more insight into your risk. And they can also ensure you’re getting the screenings you need to detect ovarian cancer early, if you’re more at risk.

Detecting and Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a difficult disease to detect. Symptoms are rare in its earliest stages, which means women are often unaware that the cancer is already present and growing. Most women are actually diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer – meaning the cancer is stage III or stage IV when it’s finally discovered.

Even if you’re seeing your doctor regularly for checkups, ovarian cancer may not be detected. Typically, this type of cancer can’t be found during a routine pelvic exam. It requires additional screening to find.

Doctors can screen for and detect ovarian cancer using the following methods:

Above all else, detecting ovarian cancer as early as possible is critical. When ovarian cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. If caught in later stages, the survival rate is just 28 percent. However, most cases of ovarian cancer are caught much later – only 20 percent are found when the cancer is in stage I or stage II.

Treating Ovarian Cancer

Treating ovarian cancer is critical to surviving this disease. And it’s especially important if your cancer is found in later stages.

Ovarian cancer is commonly treated in two ways:

Treating early-stage ovarian cancer is often successful. Unfortunately, late-stage ovarian cancer is much more difficult to treat.

In either situation, it’s crucial that you work with your doctor. Make sure to discuss any changes to your health. Ask about your risk factors and any screenings you might need. Doing so could make a difference in your prognosis – and it could help you catch cancer as soon as possible.

Learn More About Ovarian Cancer Today

The best way to protect your health is to get informed. Start a search today to learn more about ovarian cancer and its warning signs. Contact your doctor to discuss your risk or if you’re showing signs of ovarian cancer. Remember, early intervention is key.