All cancers if detected early will offer the person a chance to live a complete and disease free life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Ovarian cancer, a type of cancer that affects the ovaries of a woman, kills around 12,000 women annually in the US.
The symptoms as in many other cancers are almost absent or negligible in the initial stages which makes women postpone a visit to the gynaecologist. Towards the later stages, the symptoms are more obvious which make them realize that something has gone wrong.
Late Ovarian cancer symptoms may not offer much hope for the patient. If you suspect that something is going wrong in your body, look for the following symptoms.
All cancers have some kind of pain which is what makes the person notice the abnormal responses that have been present for some time. The ovaries are located in the pelvic region and hence pain always starts from the pelvic area and radiates to the legs as well if the cancer has spread out of the pelvis.
The pain will also be felt in the lower back and abdomen. Sometimes it will be a sharp stabbing pain or a dull pain which is nevertheless persistent in nature. Many women also complain about some pressure felt in the lower abdominal region due to the growth of the tumour.
Difficulty In Urination
Ovarian tumours can cause pressure on the urinary bladder, causing bladder functions to be altered. The tumour will press against the bladder causing the woman to urinate frequently.
Sometimes blockage too happens where the patient will feel difficulty in urinating and pain while urinating. The slow urination will lead to bladder infections due to the build up of bacteria.
Constipation is another problem caused by the blockage of the colon. The tumour can press against the colon, blocking the passage of stools and hence constipation will result. When left within the colon walls, the stools start becoming dry and finally will be very difficult to be removed.
Alternately, other women with ovarian cancer might have loose stools as a symptom as the tumour can also lead to frequent contractions of the colon and loose stools as a result.
Menstruation too will be affected due to ovarian cancer. Here too, women will have conflicting symptoms. Some women will experience heavy menstruation with longer than 7 days of duration leading to anaemia.
In other cases, the menstruation might be absent or irregular which can also be due to the obstruction of the tumour that results in collection of blood in the uterus.
Digestive Tract Problems
During the final stages of ovarian cancer, women will experience a host of problems in the digestive tract like frequent indigestion, vomiting and nausea. This too is caused due to the proximity of the ovaries to the digestive tract.
There would also be changes in appetite with women having lesser appetite, leading to extreme fatigue and tiredness as well. The fatigue is not exactly due to the low intake of food or lack of rest. It will be more frequent and always present.