Cancer! The very word tends to make people nervous. Cancer is a constellation of conditions that we don’t know nearly as much about as we wish we did. The treatments that we have can be very arduous. Although we don’t hear as much about ovarian cancer as we do breast cancer, it is a very serious – and not terribly uncommon – problem for women. For all of these reasons, many people would rather pretend that cancer doesn’t exist than keep an eye out for the possible warning signs of cancer.
But this is a counterproductive attitude. The truth is that the earlier cancer is caught, the better the odds of remission. It’s important to take responsibility for looking out for the warning signs or symptoms of cancer. If you are experiencing these signs, you should get checked out right away to rule out cancer or, if it is present, to get started on treatment as soon as possible. As we develop more and better treatment options, the odds of a good outcome are ever increasing. Ovarian cancer, in particular, is often very treatable in its earliest stages.
Ovarian cancer is defined as any cancer that starts in the ovaries, which are a woman’s egg-producing organs. From there, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. It is harder to treat if it has spread, which is why early detection is so important. And ovarian cancer is not a terribly uncommon disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with this type of cancer this year. A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer at some point during her lifetime is estimated to be around 1 in 75.
The following is a list of warning signs of ovarian cancer. Often, patients get nervous or embarrassed about discussing these types of symptoms with a health care provider, but there is no reason to be. If you are experiencing any of the troublesome symptoms below, you should get checked out by a health care professional as soon as possible.
Having a sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate or experiencing bouts of incontinence can be a sign of ovarian cancer. If you are having a lot of trouble making it to the bathroom in time, you should have it checked out. This is particularly true if these symptoms seem to be getting worse over a period of time.
UNEXPLAINED PAIN IN ABDOMEN
Here, we are talking about a type of pain that differs from menstrual cramps or the feeling of heartburn. Most women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer had complained about persistent pain in their abdomen. This pain lasted more than a few weeks and could not be explained by any other mechanism, such as a stomach virus, injury or menstrual cycle.