Ovary Cancer: 8 ‘Silent’ Symptoms That Women Should Never Ignore


Detecting ovarian cancer early is important, and it requires paying close attention to your body and recognising any persistent signs that deviate from your usual health patterns. 

Ovarian Cancer: 8 ‘Silent’ Symptoms That Women Should Never Ignore

Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to multiply out of control, forming a tumour. It can affect women of any age but is most commonly diagnosed in women over 50. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen, making it more difficult to treat. Detecting ovarian cancer early is important, and it requires paying close attention to your body and recognising any persistent signs that deviate from your usual health patterns.

 Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer

Dr Jyoti Mehta, MD Radiation and Clinical Oncologist, TGH Onco Life Cancer Centre, Talegaon shared 8 subtle signs of Ovarian cancer that women should be aware of:

  1. Persistent abdominal bloating or swelling: Women may experience persistent bloating or swelling in the abdomen, often accompanied by a feeling of fullness or discomfort.
  2.  Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly: This symptom is commonly associated with ovarian cancer and may manifest as a loss of appetite or early satiety.
  3. Pelvic or abdominal pain: Chronic pain in the pelvic or abdominal region, unrelated to menstruation or digestive issues, should be investigated by a healthcare professional.
  4. Changes in bowel habits: Ovarian cancer can cause changes in bowel habits, such as constipation, diarrhoea, or increased urgency.
  5. Frequent urination: Women may notice an increased need to urinate, especially if it persists over time and is not due to a urinary tract infection.
  6. Unexplained weight loss or gain: Sudden and unexplained changes in weight, particularly significant weight loss, can be a sign of underlying health issues, including ovarian cancer.
  7.  Fatigue: Persistent fatigue or low energy levels that interfere with daily activities may indicate a medical concern, including ovarian cancer.
  8. Back pain: Ovarian cancer can cause discomfort in the lower back, often described as a dull ache or pressure.
  Ovarian Cancer: 6 Early Symptoms and Health Risks Women Should Never Ignore

Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of ovarian cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes and increases the chances of survival. Unfortunately, the vague and nonspecific nature of ovarian cancer symptoms often leads to delayed diagnosis.

Prevention and Risk Factors

While certain risk factors for ovarian cancer, such as age and family history, cannot be controlled, there are steps women can take to reduce their risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Use oral contraceptives, which have been shown to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Consider genetic counselling and testing if there is a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.
  • Attend regular gynecological check-ups and discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider.

One should be aware that these symptoms may arise from different health issues too. If you are worried about these symptoms, it is vital to consult your doctor and get a diagnosis of the underlying condition. Don’t ignore the signs and opt for timely diagnosis and treatment.



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