Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer often causes signs and symptoms. See your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional if you have any of these signs every day for two weeks or longer and they are not normal for you, especially if they get worse:

  • Discomfort in the lower abdomen.
  • Abdominal swelling and/ or pain; bloating and/or a feeling of fullness.
  • Vague but persistent gastrointestinal complaints, such as gas, nausea and indigestion.
  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination, and frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Constipation.
  • Menstrual disorders, such as abnormal bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.
  • Unexplained tiredness and fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.
  • Unexplained weight loss and/or weight gain.
  • Sudden stomach "blows up" resembling pregnancy.

Also, see your doctor if you have any bleeding from your vagina that is not normal for you, particularly if you are past menopause. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor. Treatment is most effective when ovarian cancer is found and treated early.

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages, and in many cases the cancer has spread by the time it is found.

It is important for women to pay attention to vague symptoms that persist longer than the length of time it would take for a normal flu (3 to 4 weeks) to subside.


Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2009

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