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Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

By Tania Hackner

 

 

Cancer that begins in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes is called ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer rises with age. More than 50 % of deaths due to ovarian caner occur in women between 55 and 74, and about a 25 % in women between 35 and 54. Ovarian cancer has been termed the 'Silent Killer' even in medical textbooks because there are no symptoms until a considerably advanced stage of the disease. Recent studies, however, show that though there are no symptoms that are characteristic to ovarian cancer, the following warning signs manifest a few months before the cancer is detected:

Pelvic, abdominal, or back pain

Weight gain or weight loss

Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge (heavy menstrual flow or menopausal bleeding)

Discomfort during sex

Frequent or intense need to urinate; burning sensation or spasms while urinating

Feeling full even though you haven't eaten much

Vague gastro-intestinal problems, like gas, indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, nausea and vomiting, bloody stool, prolonged constipation or diarrhoea

Unexplained increase in waistline

Shortness of breath

Fatigue

If you experience any of the above symptoms over two or three weeks and if it gets worse with time, you should get yourself tested for ovarian cancer. As these symptoms could be associated with any other disease or minor ailment, it is impossible to diagnose ovarian cancer on their merit alone. The doctor will conduct a pelvic exam, an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound, and a blood test to check for the presence of CA 125. None of these tests are conclusive in themselves. But, a positive count on two or more of the tests should be followed by a biopsy (laparotomy) or a laparoscopy to rule out or diagnose ovarian cancer.

A very small percentage of women facing these symptoms are diagnosed with the dreaded disease. And sometimes, women can reach the very last stages of cancer with no symptoms at all. The best you can do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and undergo an annual examination to catch the cancer before it metastasizes.

Good health is not a struggle, nor it is an extraordinary feat. Healthy living is about understanding what your body needs and what is good for it. Re-discover good health in a simple way with Tania Hackner and make good health a way of living!.For more information and advice on ovarian cancer please visit us at http://www.whatyouneedtoknow.co.in

 

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