'Ovarian cancer has been called a silent killer. But most women diagnosed with the disease experience symptoms, it's just they don't link them to cancer.
Every year more than 1,400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 1,000 will die from the disease, which has the lowest survival rate of any women's cancer. Like any disease that hides itself deep inside your body, ovarian cancer can be hard to detect and identify. This is why women so often miss the early signs and it's often discovered only once it has spread to other parts of the body. But research shows most women with ovarian cancer do have symptoms of the disease before it is diagnosed, the most common symptoms include:
Persistent pelvic or abdominal pain
Abdominal swelling and/or bloating
Increased urgency and frequency of urination, or incontinence
Difficulty eating or feeling full after eating a small amount of food.
Other symptoms that women with ovarian cancer report include: vague but persistent stomach upsets, such as wind nausea, heart burn and indigestion, fatigue, pelvic or back pain, changes in bowel habits, pain during sex or vaginal bleeding, and unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
Ovarian Cancer Australia says if you have any of these symptoms, if they are new to you or if you have experienced them numerous times in a four-week period then you need to start keeping a symptom diary. Or you can also watch this YouTube video by Cancer Australia to help you identify the symptoms. Either way, keep a record and present it to your Wishing Well doctor.