Note: We are not physicians and every case is different. We would just like to encourage you to speak with your doctor if the following symptoms persist:
The most common symptoms include:
- pelvic or abdominal pain
- trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)
These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal — for example, they occur more often or are more severe. If a woman has these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist. *
If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, consult your physician.
When the symptoms are persistent, when they do not resolve with normal interventions (like diet change, exercise, laxatives, rest) it is imperative for a woman to see her doctor. Persistence of symptoms is key. Because these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer have been described as vague or silent, only around 19% of ovarian cancer is found in the early stages. Symptoms typically occur in advanced stages when tumor growth creates pressure on the bladder and rectum, and fluid begins to form.
- A Rectovaginal pelvic examination is when the doctor simultaneously inserts one finger in the rectum and one in the vagina.
- It is helpful to take a mild laxative or enema before the pelvic exam.
- Have a comprehensive family history taken by a physician knowledgeable in the risks associated with ovarian cancer. 5% to 10% of ovarian cancer has a familial link.
We are very excited to announce the production of our own ovarian cancer educational brochure. If you would like one, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every woman should undergo a regular rectal and vaginal pelvic examination. If an irregularity of the ovary is found, alternatives to evaluation include transvaginal sonography and/or tumor markers. The most common tumor marker is a blood test called the CA-125. **
* – American Cancer Society
**- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition