Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are often subtle and easily confused with other conditions. When ovarian cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the ovaries, nine out of 10 women will survive for more than five years. However, only 15 percent of ovarian cancer cases in the United States are diagnosed at this early stage.

Many people do not know that ovarian cancer causes these symptoms in the majority of women who develop the disease:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic and abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Constipation and menstrual irregularities

Research shows that women with ovarian cancer do experience symptoms. Without increased education, many women and their doctors, will ignore or misinterpret symptoms. Women need to know if they may be at a higher risk for ovarian cancer, and what action to take, such as exploring whether to have a hysterectomy. Factors that increase risk include: increasing age; personal or family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer; and never having been pregnant or given birth to a child.

Currently, there is no reliable and easy-to-administer early detection test for ovarian cancer (the Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, does not detect ovarian cancer1). At Stage I Diagnostics, we are working diligently to bring our ovarian cancer diagnostic panel to market to fill this need and help make ovarian cancer a survivable disease.

1 Ovarian Cancer National Alliance