Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. The majority of patients are identified in the advanced stages when the disease becomes more difficult to treat. Awareness of the risk factors, signs and symptoms, as well as your family history are all important to identifying the disease sooner.
Experts now believe it is the frequency and combination of symptoms that can help doctors distinguish between ovarian cancer and other conditions. If a woman experiences one or more of the following symptoms on most days within a three week period, they should discuss their concerns with their doctor:
Women with ovarian cancer are most likely to have one or more of the above symptoms on a frequent basis. There can be other symptoms which also occur, including change in bowel habits, abnormal vaginal bleeding, fatigue, and unexpected weight loss or weight gain (in this instance around the abdomen). However these are less helpful when a doctor is trying to determine whether or not ovarian cancer is the cause.