5 possible signs of ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries however, it often goes undetected until it spreads to the pelvis or abdomen, making it harder to treat. Early detection is key to ensure effective treatment.
While symptoms of ovarian and uterine cancer can differ from one patient to another, the following clinical signs are common indications for ovarian and uterine cancer:
- Post-menopausal bleeding: any vaginal bleeding after menopause should be checked because it could be an early sign of a cancerous lesion, especially endometrial or cervical cancer.
- Dysfunctional uterine bleeding: vaginal bleeding during the fertility period rather than normal menstruation can indicate ovarian or uterine cancer. This type of bleeding tends to be irregular and heavier than normal menstruation. Similarly, post-coital bleeding should be investigated as a possible cause of endometrial or cervical cancer.
- Pelvic pain: persistent pelvic pain accompanied by abdominal bloating or cramps can be an early sign of ovarian or uterine cancer.
- Unintentional weight loss: unexplained changes in body weight could indicate endometrial or cervical cancer.
- Loss of appetite: especially if associated with any other signs.
To know whether these clinical signs are caused by a cancerous lesion or any other health concerns, the doctor will conduct one of the following:
- Blood tests
- Pelvic exam
- Imaging tests