Because there are no symptoms to warn women that they
have ovarian cancer, it is known as the "silent killer".
Research has shown that there are some warning signs that
have been observed a few months before this cancer has been
identified in patients. Sometimes women may reach the later
stages of this disease and still have no symptoms. In fact,
few women showing symptoms that may be associated with
ovarian cancer are even diagnosed with it.
Chances for death are increased for women diagnosed with
this illness as they age. Ovarian cancer deaths occurring
in women between the ages of 35 and 54 is about twenty five
percent. In women between 55 and 74 the percentages of
death due to this illness increases to fifty percent.
Often signs are not detected for this "silent killer"
until this disease is in the advanced stages. Women need to
know what the signs of ovarian cancer are and be able to
The signs of ovarian cancer to watch for are as
- Weight loss or weight gain Increase in your
waistline that you cannot explain
- Shortness of breath Back, pelvic, or abdominal
- Even though you have not eaten much you feel full
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge that is unusual such
as menopausal bleeding or a heavy menstrual flow
- Gastro intestinal problems that may be vague such
as indigestion, bloating, gas, loss of appetite, bloody
stool, vomiting and nausea, prolonged diarrhea or
- Discomfort during sex Intense or frequent need to
- Spasms or burning sensations while urinating
These symptoms could be a sign of many minor ailments or
other disease. If they are experienced for more than a few
weeks and get worse with time you should be tested for
ovarian cancer. Your health care provider will be able to
conduct tests and if necessary a biopsy may be performed.
Women should maintain a healthy life style to prevent
this disease as well as many others. An annual examination
to detect ovarian cancer before it has a chance to spread
should be part of a woman's health care regime after age