Ovarian cancer has been dubbed ‘The Silent Killer’. Similar to many other cancers, it doesn’t show any symptoms for a long time. When it does, the symptoms are very non-specific and can point to a number of different conditions – both serious and benign. The sad reality is that when ovarian cancer is finally diagnosed, it has often already spread, which makes your treatment options limited.
There are some early warning signs you can look out for. But you need to combine your observations with other factors, as you don’t want to be jumping to conclusions too early.
Keep a healthy balance between denial and hypochondria
First and foremost, don’t panic. As mentioned before, your symptoms can mean many different things. The chances that you actually have cancer are very small. Ovarian Cancer National Alliance points out that for every 100 women whose symptoms match those of ovarian cancer, only one would actually have early-stage ovarian cancer.
That said, if you do feel something is odd, you shouldn’t just ignore it. People are terrified of cancer and still perceive it as an incurable disease, so they often want to hide from the fact that something is wrong with their bodies. But that of course only makes it worse, as you’re losing precious time. MedicineNet states that only 20 percent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed early, when the disease is most curable. So, if you feel that certain symptoms persist and are unusual for you, go and check them out. Better safe than sorry.
The most common type of ovarian cancer includes epithelial tumors, which form in the thin layer of tissue that covers the outside of the ovaries. These tumors occur in 90 percent of cases. The rarer types are stromal tumors, which develop inside the ovaries’ supporting tissue, and germ cell tumors, which begin in the egg-producing cells.