The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and come on either very slowly or rapidly. There is a range of possible symptoms, which may include:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • Bloating and a full feeling in the tummy (abdomen)
  • Having the feeling of needing to urinate more urgently and more frequently
  • Loss of appetite.

In addition, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Irregular periods or bleeding outside of regular menstruation before menopause
  • Painful sex
  • Back pain
  • Constipation
  • Swollen abdomen due to a build-up of fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme tiredness/fatigue
  • Breathing problems – shortness of breath
  • Severe weight loss.

It is important to remember all the symptoms discussed in this chapter can be caused by other, less serious medical conditions. However, if you have any of them, you should see your doctor, particularly if the symptoms are persistent and troublesome. They will be able to examine you and if necessary do further tests to find the cause of your problems.

If you are not comfortable with your doctor’s diagnosis or you are still concerned about unexplained persistent symptoms, you should seek a second opinion.

You know your body better than anyone else, so always listen to what your body is saying and trust your instincts.

Download our Infographic which outlines the signs and symptoms.

Download our symptom diary to track symptoms that may not be usual for you.