There is not any doubt that cancer is the leading cause of death, speaking for the entire world population. Statistics show that cancer is responsible for 30% of all deaths in Canada, definitely more than any other disease or cause.
To be more specific, the Canadian and American Cancer Societies estimate that there are 2800 new cases of ovarian cancer and 1750 deaths only in Canada, 22,280 new cases and 14,240 deaths in the United States in 2016.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
The cells of the ovaries can develop tumors that become malignant which in turn leads to the development of ovarian cancer.
This type of cancer is regarded as the silent killer because of a constant lack of symptoms and having difficulty to detect it.
Even though it usually occurs in post-menopausal women, nowadays there are more cases showing increased prevalence in women between 30 and 40 years, or even younger.
According to a study in the UK, the early detection of cancer can significantly increase your chance of survival. This means that you should pay a great attention to your body and visit your doctor regularly.
At this moment, there is no reliable test. CA125 blood tests usually give false negatives while smear tests do not pick up malignant cysts.
Another problem is that almost all of the symptoms are usually mistaken for other diseases like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). This leaves early stage tumor undiagnosed until they reach stage 3. In this stage, they are present as lumps in the pelvic area and abdomen.
A recent study shows that there are symptoms of early-stage ovarian cancer. We, as women, should pay attention to our health and make a regular visit to our doctors.
4 Symptoms that may be signs of Ovarian Cancer:
1. Persistent Bloating
If you experience constant bloating (for more than 3 weeks), like you have never experienced before, this can indicate the development of cancerous cells.
2. Lower Abdominal and Pelvic Pain
It is normal to experience pain during menstruation. However, persistent pain that exists for a longer period after your period is gone (once again, 3 weeks or more), can indicate ovarian cancer.
This is particularly important for pre-menopausal women, since they can experience a severe pain.
3. Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
If you experience an enormous decrease in your appetite for more than 3 weeks, consult your doctor immediately. Even though it usually indicates stomach, intestine, or bowel issues, it could be a sign of cancer.
4. Increased need to urinate
If you notice that you are going to the toilet more than usual, besides making no increase in the liquid intake, or you are good one minute then the next you have an urgent need to pee, this can indicate early stages of ovarian cancer.
We need to mention that, almost all of these symptoms can be easily and usually are mistaken with issues with the gastrointestinal tract.
So, if you notice that you are experiencing these symptoms for the first time, it is extremely important to monitor their persistence and frequency. If they last for more than 3 weeks, make sure to visit your doctor immediately and make a test for ovarian cancer.