Symptoms Identified For Ovarian Cancer

The notion that ovarian cancer is a "silent killer" without early warning signs has changed. The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation has announced a national consensus on symptoms for ovarian cancer. Symptoms that women should consider as warning signs include: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and frequent or urgent urination. If women have these symptoms daily over the course of several weeks they should consult with a gynecologist about them, particularly if the symptoms are new or unusual.

These symptoms were assembled by researchers including Dr. Barbara Goff, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Washington. According to her,"We know that when women are diagnosed in Stage I of the disease, it is 90% curable. Unfortunately, until now, there has been no agreement on common symptoms, allowing women to go undiagnosed, despite visits to the doctor, until it was too late."

This year, it is estimated that there will be nearly 22,500 new cases of ovarian cancer and over 15,000 new deaths. Ovarian Cancer has had the highest mortality rate among cancers of women's reproductive systems, partly because it often goes undiagnosed until it approaches advanced stages. Unlike cervical cancer, there is no early screening for it, so detecting symptoms and regular pelvic exams are the best ways to catch it on time.


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