Each year, over 15,000 American women die from ovarian cancer, making it the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women. The death rate for ovarian cancer could be greatly reduced if more women were given information on ovarian cancer warning signs by their doctors and if suspected symptoms were quickly reported. Being aware of ovarian cancer warning signs can greatly increase a woman's chance of receiving early treatment and surviving ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer warning signs include bloating, pelvic pain, feeling full, loss of appetite, feeling the need to urinate frequently or suddenly, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, unexplained weight loss or gain, pain during intercourse, abnormal vaginal bleeding, fatigue and lower back pain.
A doctor should be consulted if any of these symptoms last for more than 2 to 3 weeks.
While many of these ovarian cancer warning signs could be related to other, more harmless conditions, they should be monitored. If the symptoms are always there and continue to worsen, a doctor should be consulted.
Most ovarian cancer cases occur in post-menopausal women, often over age 60. These women, as well as those with family histories of ovarian cancer, should be especially aware of ovarian cancer warning signs.
Women who experience ovarian cancer warning signs and seek early treatment, before the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, have a 95 percent chance of surviving the cancer. Women that wait to report symptoms or do not experience early ovarian cancer warning signs face a survival rate between 28 to 79 percent, depending on how far the cancer has spread.