One of the first ovarian cancer symptoms is bloating. It’s often visible in the mirror and can even lead to stretch marks. Other early ovarian cancer symptoms include pelvic pain that resembles menstrual cramps. Pelvic pain can occur on both sides of the pelvis, on one side only, or it can be diffuse.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
One of the most common early signs of ovarian cancer is pain and bloating in the abdomen. This pain can last for days or even weeks. Some women also develop stretch marks. This type of pain is not unlike the common tiredness or pain experienced during a period. However, if the pain persists for more than a few days, you should see a doctor to ensure it is not something else.
It’s essential to recognize the early signs of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, many women may not notice symptoms until the disease has spread to other body parts. It may take weeks or months before the symptoms become apparent, so you must consult a physician if you have unexplained abdominal pain.
In most cases, ovarian cancer is treated surgically. This surgery is often complex, and a team of doctors will perform it. The type of surgery you’ll need depends on where cancer has spread. Sometimes, your surgeon may need to remove your ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Other treatment options include chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Although ovarian cancer is more common in older women, it can occur in younger women, too. Most cases occur after menopause. However, you can develop ovarian cancer even without a family history of the disease. Changes in your genetic material cause this type of cancer.
Diagnosing ovarian cancer
One of the critical aspects of diagnosing ovarian cancer is recognizing the signs and symptoms. The disease is caused by DNA mutations (the code that directs the cells’ growth), leading to rapid multiplication and growth. These changes cause the cancer cells to live when healthy cells would die. As a result, they invade nearby tissues and grow outward from the original tumor. There are two main types of ovarian cancer: stromal tumors and epithelial tumors. Stromal tumors are usually detected in an earlier stage.
Another symptom of ovarian cancer is the size of the tumor. A doctor will do a pelvic examination to determine the size and shape of the tumor. This examination may also include a rectovaginal pelvic exam. This test helps determine the stage of the disease because it can show the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other organs.
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer include decreased appetite, abdominal discomfort, increased abdominal size, and urinary symptoms. If you notice these signs, consult your healthcare provider to determine whether you have ovarian cancer. These symptoms are often vague and can be caused by other conditions. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for over two weeks, you should see a doctor immediately. The sooner you receive treatment, the better the chances of a positive outcome.
If you’ve had a family history of cancer, you should ask a doctor if it is related to ovarian cancer. For example, women with Eastern European or Jewish heritage are more likely to develop the disease. Furthermore, if you have any family members with a history of ovarian cancer, you should consider genetic counseling. Genetic counselors can identify genes that increase your risk for ovarian cancer.
If you’ve been experiencing ovarian cancer symptoms, you’re probably wondering about your treatment options. The main treatment options for ovarian cancer are surgery and chemotherapy. You may also be offered other treatments, including hormone treatments or targeted medicines. To determine the best treatment for your condition, you should schedule regular checkups with your physician. The doctor may perform tests and scans to determine the stage and type of cancer. You may also undergo radiation therapy to treat the disease.
You can also choose to receive palliative care, which focuses on enhancing the quality of life and relieving cancer symptoms. Depending on your stage of disease and the extent of the spread of the disease, palliative care may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other drug treatments. A medical oncologist will prescribe chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and a gynecological pathologist will examine any tissue removed from your abdomen. Your care team may also include cancer nurses who provide support and information. Social workers and allied health professionals may also be present to help you navigate this difficult time.
Treatment options for ovarian cancer symptoms include hormonal therapy and radiation therapy. These treatments are often used to treat recurrent ovarian cancer. While each treatment option has pros and cons, a thorough understanding of the various options is essential for making the most informed decision.