Ovarian cancer is not the most common gynecological cancer, but it’s often the most deadly. Unfortunately, statistics show that only 20% of ovarian cancer cases are found in the early stages, which means subtle changes tend to go unnoticed for quite a while and the disease advances quickly and aggressively.
While there are some risk factors to keep in mind, like family history, age and obesity, it can be difficult to predict if and when ovarian cancer may arise. The best thing you can do for yourself is communicate openly with your doctor about your medical history and keep an eye out for any of these suspicious symptoms that may point to a serious issue with your ovaries.
1. Bloating and Fullness
Bloating is an unfortunate part of life for most women, but if it comes on unexpectedly and continues for a while, it can also be a worrying symptom.
Bloating that lasts for longer than a couple of weeks should raise concern, especially if it comes with weight loss and bleeding: a tumor on the ovary could be pressing against the intestines, or it may be releasing compounds that encourage fluid to build in the abdomen.
So, if you notice that your clothes are feeling tighter around your stomach and hips but you haven’t gained weight elsewhere, see your doctor.