The second most common cancer in women is the ovarian cancer. This type of cancer doesn’t show any particular symptoms, which makes it hard to trace. Women often don’t recognize its symptoms, nor are they properly diagnosed because of it. This is the reason why the disease is often discovered in its advanced stage, thus given the name ‘silent killer’.
Here are the most common and basic symptoms that should alarm you to do a thorough check-up:
- Pelvic pain – discomfort or heaviness around the pelvis
- Loss of appetite – feeling full after few bites, or a sudden weight loss.
- Fatigue – feeling tired without doing anything physical
- Abdominal welling – feeling bloated or gassy more often than usual
- Lower back pain – pain and discomfort in your lower back, back spasms
caused by straining your body
- Constipation – irregular bowl movements and regular constipation. Fiber rich foods can help you with this symptom.
- Frequent and uncontrollable urination – often mistaken for urinary tract infection, caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.
- Pain during sex – either during or post intercourse, especially around and below the abdomen.
Since the symptoms mentioned above may indicate other illnesses, you should do a thorough examination.
Science still struggles to determine the exact causes of this cancer, but for now there are some known factors that might trigger the ovarian cancer. There are several groups of women, who are more prone to developing this disease, including:
- Women who never gave birth nor have ever been pregnant
- Women over 50. Around 50% of diagnosed women are over 65 years old
- Women with a family history of prostate, colon, breast, or endometrial cancer.
- Women who have a first degree relative diagnosed with ovarian cancer (mother, daughter, sister)
- Women with a genetic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, but not all of them are determined to develop ovarian cancer)
- Women who suffered from breast cancer
Even though many of the diagnosed women didn’t experience all the symptoms listed above, it is very important to keep a close eye on them. If any of them lasts longer than 2 weeks, see your doctor immediately!