Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Historically ovarian cancer was called the “silent killer” because symptoms were not thought to develop until the chance of cure was poor. However, recent studies have shown this term is untrue and the following symptoms are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population.

Know your body, Know the symptoms, and BEAT ovarian cancer.

Women with ovarian cancer report that symptoms are persistent and represent a change from normal for their bodies. The frequency and/or number of such symptoms are key factors in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Several studies show that even early stage ovarian cancer can produce these symptoms.

Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist. Prompt medical evaluation may lead to detection at the earliest possible stage of the disease. Early stage diagnosis is associated with an improved prognosis.

Several other symptoms have been commonly reported by women with ovarian cancer. These symptoms include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities. However, these other symptoms are not as useful in identifying ovarian cancer because they are also found in equal frequency in women in the general population who do not have ovarian cancer.

NOTE: Pap smears do NOT detect ovarian cancer.  Women without ovaries are STILL AT RISK.

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©2000 Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance. All Rights Reserved.  The Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.