The number of women with ovarian cancer is increasing at a rapid rate in India. A cancer diagnosis dramatically affects one’s life. Many women with ovarian cancer tend to neglect symptoms and later land in trouble due to delayed diagnosis. Hence, if you also notice abnormal changes in your body then seek immediate medical attention.
We spoke to Dr Sushruta Mokadam, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospital to know more about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and understand more about it. Dr Sushruta started off by saying,
Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries. And if left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. This is not a commonly occurring cancer but has the highest morbidity and mortality rates. Unfortunately, it is tough to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage. Hence, the prognosis of this cancer is poor. Old age and having a family history of this cancer can raise one’s risk of suffering from it. Women ignore early warning signs of ovarian cancer or think their symptoms are owing to ageing, weight gain, or other health problems that aren’t serious. Thus, they fail to seek timely intervention when cancer can be cured.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague. Hence, you tend to dismiss them by taking them casually. You will have to keep a check on how long the symptoms last. Many women have the symptoms for many months before the diagnosis. But they often fail to speak about them as they are either embarrassed or ignore them. And so, here are some of the signs of ovarian cancer that you shouldn’t miss—as told by Dr Sushruta.
Gastrointestinal (GI) issues can be linked to stress, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and shockingly ovarian cancer. Yes, constipation is one of the indications of this deadly cancer. If you are unable to relieve your constipation even after taking your doctor’s help then it can be alarming.
Many women experience this annoying problem at some point of time in life. Bloating is a common occurrence during one’s periods. But, it can become a matter of concern, if it tends to last for more than three weeks. If there is abdominal swelling and bloating then you will have to visit an expert without wasting any time.
Tumours tend to grow in the pelvis causing pelvic or abdominal pain and cramping as well.
This is one of the common ovarian cancer symptoms. Sometimes, a woman will feel full even before eating the meals. One will also experience nausea accompanied by vomiting.
Are there changes in your bladder function? Then you need to stop taking it lightly. Do not ignore the symptoms by thinking they will go away on their own. Doing so is a strict no-no. The frequent urge to urinate or a urinary tract infection (UTI) will suggest a problem with reproductive health and even ovarian cancer. Feeling pressure on the bladder and other symptoms like the sudden urge to urinate for a week need a thorough evaluation.
Do you have back pain? Then, it could be ovarian cancer. Women with ovarian cancer may suffer from back pain when fluid accumulates in the pelvis or when the tumour spreads in the abdomen or pelvis, even by irritating tissue in the lower back.
Are you losing weight and don’t know why? Losing weight when one is not even on a diet is worrisome and indicates an underlying medical condition. Try to consult the doctors as soon as you shed those excess kilos.
Lastly, Dr Sushruta says,
Your doctor is the right person who will suggest a proper line of treatment for you. Don’t self-medicate by taking over-the-counter medication.
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