The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 19,710 new ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2023. Though this number is high, ovarian cancer is diagnosed in about 1.3% of women with roughly 50% of those women being over the age of 63. Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, so knowing the signs, symptoms, and being open and honest with your doctor is important.
One of the reasons ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose is because the symptoms tend to be broad. However, it’s still important to look out for them and mention it to your doctor. Symptoms can include:
- Persistent Bloating.
- Pelvic and Abdominal Pain.
- Difficulty Eating.
- Feeling Full Quickly.
- Frequent Urination.
- Heavy Feeling in the Pelvis.
- Vaginal Bleeding.
- Weight Gain or Weight Loss.
- Abnormal Periods.
- Unexplained and Worsening Back Pain.
- Loss of Appetite.
There are two ovaries in the pelvis, one on the left side and one on the right. They surround the uterus. Ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or peritoneum. These cancerous cells are able to invade your healthy body tissues and rapidly multiply. Though most people diagnosed with ovarian cancer are not high risk, there are factors that can increase your risk for getting ovarian cancer.
- Middle-Age or Older.
- Family History of Ovarian Cancer.
- Having BRCA1 or BRCA2, or a Mutation Associated with Lynch Syndrome.
- Having Breast, Uterine, or Colon Cancer.
- Having Endometriosis.
These risk factors don’t mean you will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but they are important to mention to your doctor. The American Association for Cancer Research is currently researching and raising awareness about ovarian cancer through conferences, research presentations, and grants. Greenville Women’s Care is here for all of your OB/GYN needs. To schedule an appointment with one of our staff members, visit greenvillewc.com or call 252-757-3131.