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12 Symptoms That Are Not Silent!

12 Symptoms That Are Not Silent! Ovarian cancer

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

  In the Spirit of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, I am sharing the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.

The Silent Killer

Ovarian Cancer is known as the Silent Killer, but it does not have to be silent. It is also called the Cancer That Whispers because its symptoms mimic other diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulitis, Stress, Kidney Infections, Bladder Infections, Depression, acid reflux, weak pelvic floor, eating disorders and allergies.

Be Aggressive!

The best chance of beating Ovarian Cancer is to be informed and aggressive in your health. My symptoms were ignored for over a year or two and, until it was found, the cancer had progressed to a Stage 3.

 

Ovarian Cancer symptoms include:


Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating.

It’s like you just ate that Thanksgiving meal, but every single day.


Urinary urgency, a frequent need to urinate.

And this is the nineth month of pregnancy needing to pee!


Pelvic discomfort or pain.

It feels like sciatica and can include the numbing and pain in your legs


Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea.

Roll out the Rolaids!


Unexplained changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea

Any change in the usual bowel movements is cause for concern.


Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full

I hardly ate anything and would not be able to finish it.


Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist.

You got a watermelon growing in there!  Of course, your clothes will feel tight.


Difficulty losing weight.

I had a coworker who was a very petite Cambodian girl.  She could not lose the bulge in her belly no matter how hard she tried.  As it turned out, she had an Ovarian Cyst.


Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)

I believe this is self-explanatory. 


A persistent lack of energy

I would come home from work and crash!

Low back pain

This along with the numbness in my legs… I got told to exercise!


Changes in menstruation

Lighter, heavier: Anything different!


Ovarian Cancer symptoms above worsening during menstruation

I got told this was all in my head.  It turned out that I was right.  I would get extremely sick during menstruation. 

Ovarian Cancer symptoms mimic other diseases.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are nonspecific and mimic those of many other more common conditions, including digestive and bladder disorders. A woman with ovarian cancer may be diagnosed with another condition before finally learning she has cancer. Common misdiagnoses include irritable bowel syndrome, stress and depression.

Be persistent!

The key seems to be persistent with worsening signs and symptoms. With most digestive disorders, symptoms tend to come and go, or they occur in certain situations or after eating certain foods. With ovarian cancer, there’s typically little fluctuation — symptoms are constant and gradually worsen.


When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have swelling, bloating, pressure or pain in your abdomen or pelvis that lasts for more than a few weeks. If you’ve already seen a doctor and received a diagnosis other than ovarian cancer, but you’re not getting relief from the treatment, schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor or get a second opinion.

Make sure that a pelvic exam is a part of your evaluation. Insist upon a Transvaginal Sonogram and a simple blood test called a CA125. A pap smear will NOT detect ovarian cancer!


If you have a history of ovarian cancer or a strong history of breast cancer in your family, strongly consider seeing a doctor trained to detect and care for ovarian cancer patients so that you can talk about screening, genetic testing and treatment options while you are disease-free. 


On a Personal Note

The blood test, CA125 can indicate an Ovarian issue, however it did not pick up my particular type of Ovarian Cancer and there are several types. Ask your doctor for some type of imaging test to look for a mass. 

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