Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

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Until recently, ovarian cancer was known as a “silent killer” because it usually wasn’t found until it had spread to other areas of your body. But new evidence shows that most women may have symptoms even in the early stages, and awareness of symptoms may hopefully lead to earlier detection.

Here are some symptoms:
  • Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain
  • Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
  • Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
  • Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • A persistent lack of energy
  • Low back pain
  • Changes in menstruation
If you have seen your doctor about any of these symptoms but have not felt any relief please consider getting a second opinion.  We just found out that Tony’s mom has Ovarian Cancer and will undergo a Hysterectomy in two weeks.  She had some of the symptoms for a while but didn’t think much of it, and neither did her doctor.  She recently went for an MRI on her back to confirm that she had a bulging disk, and they happened to see the cancer on the MRI.

What can increase you chance of getting ovarian cancer?

Women who have the BRCA1 (Breast Cancer gene 1) mutation have a 35 to 70 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer than do women without this mutation, and for women with a BRCA2 (Breast Cancer Gene 2)  mutation, the risk is between 10 and 30 percent higher. 
Women with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer are also at a higher risk for Ovarian Cancer, although the risk is lower than if you had one of the BRCA mutations.
Having a family history of ovarian cancer increases your risk of the disease by 10 to 15 percent

Ovarian cancer most often develops after menopause. Your risk of ovarian cancer increases with age through your late 70s.
Women who have had at least one pregnancy appear to have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. Similarly, the use of oral contraceptives appears to offer some protection against ovarian cancer.

Women who are obese have a greater risk of ovarian cancer.
I am not being compensated in any way for this post – I just want my readers to know the symptoms and risk categories so they can hopefully catch ovarian cancer in themselves or family members before it spreads to other areas.  I obtained information from mayoclinic.com for this post.


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