If a woman experiences one or more of the following symptoms on most days within a three week period, they should discuss their concerns with their doctor.
Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
Abdominal or pelvic pain
Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently
There can be other symptoms which also occur, including change in bowel habits, abnormal vaginal bleeding, fatigue, and unexpected weight loss or weight gain (in this instance around the abdomen). However these are less helpful when a doctor is trying to determine whether or not ovarian cancer is the cause.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. The majority of patients are identified in the advanced stages when the disease becomes more difficult to treat. Awareness of the risk factors, signs and symptoms, as well as your family history are all important to identifying the disease sooner.