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Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer

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Ovarian cancer is the number one threat to a woman’s health due to the fact they find out in the later stages. Usually, women don’t see or feel any signs of ovarian cancer until it is too late. Being aware of ovarian cancer is crucial to your health. Here are some warning signs to look out for.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

The early stages of ovarian cancer rarely cause any symptoms. In the advanced stages, you might experience some symptoms that can often be mistaken for other common conditions.

  • Weight loss
  • Feeling full when eating
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Discomfort in the pelvis
  • Changes in bowel movements, constipation
  • Frequent need to use the restroom

Warning Signs

Ovarian cancer is known as the Silent Killer because it kills about 1 in 70 women in the United States. It is very important to read the signs and visit a doctor to start prevention. 

  • Painful sexual activity: if your sexual activity has recently become painful to consult with your doctor to find the reason. Most situations could be due to lubrication but it’s better to be sure.
  • Fatigue: if you usually have energy during the day and you’ve recently started getting tired, ask your doctor if something more serious can be the cause.
  • Loss of appetite or fullness when eating: if you experience a sudden loss in appetite or become full after eating small portions of food, ask your doctor if there is something more serious your body is trying to tell you.

Causes of Ovarian Cancer

It is unclear what causes ovarian cancer. Doctors have identified some factors that may increase the risk of cancer. 

Cancer starts when cells develop mutations in their DNA. The mutations tell the cells to grow and multiply which creates a mass tumor. These abnormal cells live when healthy would die and they invade tissues and break away from an initial tumor to spread to other parts of the body. 

Types of Ovarian Cancer

There are three types of ovarian cancer and the type of cell where cancer begins determines the type of cancer you have. 

  • Stromal tumors: these begin in the ovarian tissue and contain hormone producing cells. These tumors are diagnosed at an earlier stage and about 7 percent of ovarian tumors are stromal
  • Epithelial tumors: they begin in the thin layer of tissue that lines the outside of your ovaries. 90 percent of ovarian cancers happen to be epithelial tumors
  • Germ cell tumors: these begin in the egg producing cells and they are very rare but tend to appear in younger women

Risk Factors

These are the factors that doctors have identified that will increase your risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer:

  • Family history: if you have two or more close relatives who have had this cancer, your risk is increased.
  • Old age: cancer can occur at any age but it is more common in women 50 to 60 years of age. 
  • Inherited gene mutations: a very small percentage of cancers are caused by gene mutations that are passed down from your parents. These genes increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
  • Age when menstrual cycles started and ended: if you started menstruating at an early age or started menopause at a later age, or both, you are more at risk for ovarian cancer. 
  • Estrogen hormone replacement: if you have received this especially for long term use, you are at risk for cancer.

Consult the Doctors at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care

If you are experiencing symptoms, remember there isn’t a screening test for ovarian cancer. It’s better to know than to wait and start seeing drastic symptoms. Consult with the doctors at the Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care so you can reduce your risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Schedule a consultation today!