Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that originates in a woman's ovaries. And much like any other form of cancer, early detection is really the best form of treatment. With ovarian cancer, it can actually be even more important, since the majority of cases find that the abnormal cells have metastasized into the organs or tissue of abdominal and pelvic regions of the body as well as spread into the lymph nodes or even the blood. Once the cancer has metastasized, a woman is said to have an advanced stage of the disease, bringing with it a number of uncomfortable symptoms.
Of all the symptoms of end stage ovarian cancer, pain is one of the more common. This pain is usually isolated within the pelvic region of the body, but it may also manifest as an actual pressure within a woman's abdomen. With either of these sensations, the pain or pressure may eventually spread into the lower back, and both can range in intensity from dull to sharp, yet are frequently persistent in nature.
The pain is often accompanied by a urinary change. These changes vary from woman to woman, but usually entail an increase in both frequency and urgency in urination. Any pressure from a nearby tumor or any cancerous cells affecting the bladder can reduce the urinary capacity of the organ, disturbing its normal function.
End stage ovarian cancer can also cause changes in a woman's bowel movements. For the most part, these changes are a result of an obstruction created by a tumor that causes stool to become blocked and produces constipation. As stool is left within the colon, more and more liquid is leeched from its composition, and the stool becomes even harder to pass. However, other women may suffer from loose, watery stools due to the cancer, as the disease may cause the colon to contract more frequently than normal, passing stool at a much faster rate.
Many times, end stage ovarian cancer causes menstrual changes. This frequently entails more irregular or missed periods, but can also manifest as longer, heavier flows.
It isn't uncommon for end stage ovarian cancer to cause digestive issues. This is largely due to the location of the ovaries and the natural progression of the disease. Since a woman's reproductive system is in such close proximity to her digestive tract, the cancer may begin to affect the overall function of the stomach and intestines, triggering nausea, indigestion and even vomiting. For some women, they may also notice a change in appetite, becoming less hungry or unable to finish meals.
Exhaustion and Fatigue
As with almost any form of cancer, end stage ovarian cancer often causes exhaustion and fatigue. But unlike "normal" exhaustion or fatigue, this particular symptom is more chronic in nature and doesn't see an improvement after periods of rest.