Ovarian cancer is dreaded disease because of the very late onset of symptoms and its high recurrence rate. At an advanced stage of development, the chances of recovery are very small. To minimize the risks, we need to listen to our body and know how to decode the alarming messages that it send. Here are the warning signs of ovarian cancer.
What are the main symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Early detection of ovarian cancer greatly increases the chances to heal completely. For this, you should regularly visit your gynecologist to remove the hypothesis of this cancer as soon as you notice the occurrence of one or more of the following symptoms:
- Increase in abdominal volume or extreme bloating
- Feeling of fullness after lean meals
- Difficulty in eating
- Persistent abdominal and pelvic pain (moderate to severe)
- Frequent urination
- Sensation of lethargy and chronic fatigue
- Unusual or irregular bowel movement
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Postmenopausal bleeding
These symptoms may appear in different ways:
- Persistent: they are spread over an indefinite period and do not stop.
- New: they suddenly appear as you haven’t experienced before.
- Common: they may occur more or less in long episodes. For example you can suffer from symptoms for eight months, and then they disappears for a while, before reappearing.
By making regular visits to your doctor, you can determine the exact cause of these symptoms, which can hide other diseases. However, pelvic and abdominal pain, bloating and frequent urination desire are predictors of ovarian cancer. But prevention is better than cure.
To help your doctor make e valid diagnose, you can keep a little diary where you note carefully the symptoms you have, their duration, frequency, the factors that cause them, etc. especially that some disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can have similar signs. The analysis of all this information by your doctor will help him to quickly and efficiently establish a diagnosis.
Treatment of ovarian cancer
In general, the treatment of this silent cancer is by surgery. When the tumor is primitive, the doctor takes care to remove as much as possible. But when the cancer has spread, it becomes necessary to make a removal of the ovaries and sometimes the fallopian tubes and uterus.
Since ovarian cancer has a high recurrence rate, especially in the period of 18 months following surgery, chemotherapy is prescribed to prevent it. It helps kill cancer cells that surgery can not remove or that may not be visible.
In some cases, chemotherapy may take place prior to the surgery, because it helps to reduce the size of the cancerous tumor and thus to facilitate its removal during operation.