Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

11th May 2018

 Symptoms and diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Most women will not notice any symptoms as it can take a long time for symptoms to occur. When symptoms do appear, they can be mild, vague or do not go away (persistent). They can include:
• Bloated feeling.
• Persistent swollen abdomen.
• Pain or dragging sensation in your lower abdomen or side.
• Vague indigestion or nausea.
• Poor appetite and feeling full quickly.
• Changes in your bowel or bladder habits; for example, constipation or needing to pass water urgently.
• Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding (rare).
Even though these symptoms can be caused by complaints other than cancer, do have them checked by your doctor.
Visit your GP if you are worried about any symptoms. Your GP will examine you first. He or she will do an internal exam to feel for any lumps or swelling. If your doctor has concerns about you, he or she will refer you to a hospital. There, you will see a specialist who may arrange more tests, such as the following:
• Ultrasound of abdomen
• Transvaginal ultrasound
• Laparoscopy
• Special blood test
Causes and prevention of ovarian cancer

The cause of cancer of the ovary is unknown. But there are things called risk factors that can increase your chance of getting the disease. These include:
• No children: It is more common in women who have not had children.
• Age: As you get older and have gone through the menopause, you are more likely to develop it.
• Family history of cancer: A faulty gene can lead to ovarian cancers in a very small number of women. It is also linked to the faulty genes found in breast cancer. If you or a member of your family have a history of ovarian, breast, womb or bowel cancer, your risk is higher. If your mother or sister gets ovarian cancer, you have an even higher risk of the disease.
• Receiving HRT: There is a slightly higher risk if you have received hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and received drugs to stimulate the ovary during infertility treatments. Some research suggests that being infertile may be a slight risk but research is ongoing to know for certain.
If you feel you may be at risk of ovarian cancer, first talk to your GP about your concerns.

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