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Cancer is a very common disease in the world these days, and ovarian cancer is one of the most common forms of it. Our risks of developing ovarian cancer get higher as we grow older, and we should all be aware of the signs.

Many things go into calculating a person’s risks of developing something like this. You have to take into account their family history, the medications they might be on, their age, their weight, and so much more. The American Cancer Society has estimated that in 2018 alone there will most likely be at least 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed and that over 14,000 women will die from it here in the US.

Ovarian cancer accounts for almost three percent of all cancer cases in women. It is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers. Our lifetime risks are 1 in 79 of developing invasive ovarian cancer and 1 in 109 of dying from it once diagnosed. While rates are highest in women from 55-64, it can affect any woman at any age.

Below, I am going to go over some of the most common warning signs of ovarian cancer. If you notice any of these things, you should take it into consideration and go get checked. The sooner you identify it and begin some kind of treatment, the better chance you have of coming out alive. With cancer of any kind, identifying it as early as possible is a life or death situation.

10 Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer:

1. Belly (pelvic or abdominal) Pain

If you notice persistent pain in your abdomen or pelvic area you should get it checked out. This could be a pain when you press on it or a pain when going about your daily activities. Pain, in general, should not be ignored.

2. Trouble Eating/Feeling Full Quick

In some cases, ovarian cancer can lead to the buildup of fluid around the pelvis. This will make you feel full even when you haven’t managed to eat anything or are eating much smaller meals. It will be as if your stomach has ‘shrunk’ out of nowhere, and you have no appetite.

3. Bloating

This should be a red flag for most of us. You get are bloated, and it just won’t go away, there has to be something causing it. It could be something simple, but it could also be something serious, better safe than sorry.

4. Frequent Urination

Even when you haven’t drunk much, you might feel the need to pee a lot more often. People with ovarian cancer tend to mention having this symptom. While it might just be a UTI it could also be something much worse, again, better safe than sorry.

5. Frequent Upset Stomach

If your stomach is upset, and you are going through pain or indigestion more often than not, you should get yourself checked out. Feeling gassy or even being constipated can be signs of ovarian cancer. It will literally feel like your digestive tract is out of whack sometimes.

6. Pain During Sex

This could easily be one of if not the most common signs. Ovarian cancer can really cause a lot of pressure in some of the worst places. This can make intercourse very painful.

7. Menstrual Changes

If your period becomes irregular, you should get yourself checked out. Perhaps you end up bleeding more or less or end up having more than one period each month, all of these things are red flags. They could point to a lot of serious issues in your lady parts.

8. Weight Loss Accompanied By Abdominal Swelling

If you are losing weight and yet your abdomen is getting bigger, you should consult a professional. The lack of appetite might be causing you to drop a pound but there could really be something serious going on in your body. Ovarian cancer almost always leaves us bloated, and so you need to keep an eye out for that kind of thing. Persistent bloating never happens for ‘no reason.’

9. Severe Cramps

If you are having severe cramps, it could be because of ovarian cancer or some other serious gynecological problem. Keep up with what is going on and see a doctor as soon as you possibly can. This is nothing to ‘wait and see’ where things go, get checked out and get things under control.

10. Fatigue and Back Pain

If you are overly exhausted and experiencing back pain out of nowhere, you really need to listen to your body. When nothing is helping, and you are overly uncomfortable for extended periods of time, you should consult a doctor or gynecologist. This is quite possibly related to ovarian cancer and could be a very big deal.

The sooner you are diagnosed and able to treat things, the better. Your life matters and you should be paying attention to the signs. Don’t let something like ovarian cancer progress to the point where treatment is much harder on you, get things on lock quickly and have them taken care of.