Ovarian cancer affects over 7000 women in the UK but it is not as well publicised as other forms of cancer which affect women. As such, many women are unaware of the signs of ovarian cancer. This can lead to drastic consequences. If the signs are known and the cancer is detected early a woman has much more chance of making a full recovery.
As several charities lead a charge to make ovarian cancer more well known and have its symptoms publicised, here we present some of the main symptoms of the illness.
Many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are not solely associated with the disease, as such anyone experiencing them may attribute them to something else. As a result, ovarian cancer is known as the silent cancer.
The main symptoms of ovarian cancer are abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty eating.
If you experience these symptoms on a daily (or almost daily) basis they could be signs of ovarian cancer.
Despite these symptoms being the most common – something which causes a problem because, obviously, abdominal pain, bloating or difficult eating can often be a symptom of another, perhaps less serious illness – there are some other symptoms that women may experience.
These can include difficulty going to the toilet, urinated lots or less than usual, changes in bowel movement, tiredness and aches and pains.
“If you regularly experience any of these symptoms and they're not normal for you, see your GP,” says NHS Choices. “It's unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem, but it's important to be checked. Tell the GP if there are two or more cases of ovarian or breast cancer in your close family, as ovarian cancer can sometimes run in families.
“If you have already visited your GP and the symptoms continue or get worse, it's important to go back to your GP and explain this. You know your body better than anyone.
“Remember, ovarian cancer is not common and early diagnosis may save lives.”
Women who experience what could be symptoms of ovarian cancer may feel melodramatic for going to a doctor but ovarian cancer is silent killer. Get yourself checked out and be safe rather than sorry.
For more information on ovarian cancer visit www.cancerresearchuk.org.