Every woman needs to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Make sure you do.
It can be difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer because the symptoms are ones that many women will have from time to time, and they are often symptoms of less serious and more common health problems.
But we do know that ovarian cancer is NOT a silent disease. Women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer report four types of symptoms most frequently:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain.
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
- Needing to urinate often or urgently.
- Feeling full after eating a small amount.
If you have any of these symptoms, they are new for you and you have experienced them multiple times during a 4-week period, go to your GP. To help track these symptoms, download our Symptom diary now. Ovarian Cancer Australia’s Symptom Diary helps you to monitor your symptoms. You can then take the completed diary to your doctor to assist with diagnosis.
Other symptoms to be aware of
The Symptom diary will also help you to track any other symptoms that are not usual for you. These may include:
- Changes in your bowel habits.
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
- Bleeding in-between periods or after menopause.
- Back pain.
- Indigestion or nausea.
- Excessive fatigue.
- Pain during intercourse.
Be aware — but don’t make yourself sick with worry
It is important to remember that most women with these symptoms will not have ovarian cancer. Your doctor should first rule out more common causes of these symptoms, but if there is no clear reason for your symptoms, your doctor needs to consider the possibility of ovarian cancer.
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.