Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are often vague, non-specific and can be mistakenly attributed to other causes. These symptoms can often be experienced by women without ovarian cancer.
Common symptoms include:
Bloating - increased abdominal size/persistent bloating
Eating - difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
Pain - in pelvic or abdominal areas
Urinary symptoms - urgency or frequency
Occasionally there can be other symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, extreme fatigue or unexplained weight loss. Just because you have the symptoms does not mean you have ovarian cancer.
However, if the symptoms are:
…then it is important that you see your doctor.
New – they are not normal for you and may have started in the last year
Persistent – they have been present for more than 3 weeks
Frequent – you notice the symptoms happen frequently
Research indicates that the symptoms of ovarian cancer may not occur until late stages of the cancer or that listening to them may not improve a woman’s ovarian cancer. Since there is no screening for ovarian cancer, Ovarian Cancer Canada believes that women should pay attention to their symptoms.
If a woman is aware of symptoms and communicates these to her health care provider, it may help her to get diagnosed and treated earlier.