Women lead busy lives. Between balancing the demands of work and family, it can sometimes be easy to put yourself and your health on the back-burner. However, in the long run, being in tune with your body and reporting to your doctor or practitioner if something is off is the best thing to do. Oftentimes, if you pay attention of early warning signs of different conditions, you have a much broader array of treatment options. This is true for ovarian cancer. Below are some of the early warning signs that you should be aware of.
Okay, everyone has pigged out on Mexican food and come home feeling like they’ve swallowed a bowling ball. Occasional abdominal bloating, especially after a heavy meal, is not cause for alarm. However, if this bloating is persistent regardless of what or how much you eat and does not seem to be going away, this should definitely be reported to the doctor.
Pelvic/Abdominal/Low Back Pain
Again, many women can experience pelvic, abdominal or low back pain during or before their periods and that is normal. However, pain that seems to be consistent and happens regardless of what stage you are at in your cycle should also be reported.
Changes in Urination
If you notice that you are urinating more frequently, barely have time to make it to the bathroom, or feel a stronger sense of urgency, you should pay attention to this, too. Sometimes it can be a urinary tract infection or the weakening of the pelvic walls, but it is also an early sign of ovarian cancer.
Another sign of ovarian cancer – and cancer in general – is appetite changes. Usually this takes the form of a duller appetite or of feeling full quickly when you begin to eat. If you are losing weight without making any changes in eating or exercise habits, this, too, can be sign that something is amiss.
If you experience pain or discomfort during sex, this should definitely be treated as something abnormal and reported to the doctor as soon as possible. Again, there could be other reasons for this such as an infection or even hormonal changes or imbalances, but regardless it needs to be treated.
Many women feel tired some or most of the time. However, if you notice the fatigue is getting worse or is happening no matter how much sleep you get, this should be taken as a warning as well.
If you have read this article and realize that you have several of these symptoms, don’t panic. There are other reasons why you could be experiencing these symptoms, not all of them cancer-related. That said, however, it is still important to make an appointment with your physician or gynecologist to discuss what is happening and your concerns about it. It is also a good idea to track your symptoms as much as possible, so that your doctor has a fuller understanding of what the problem is. For instance, if you have pain, where is it exactly? Is it dull, sharp, stabbing? What makes it worse or better? Information like this can be very helpful for your doctor when he or she is trying to make a diagnosis.
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