India accounts for the third highest number of cancer cases in women after China and US. Cancer among women in India is estimated at 0.7 million, recording India as the third highest for ovarian cancer incidences in 2017. The early symptoms are easy to miss, making it the deadliest form of female reproductive cancer.
Typically, this is because ovarian cancer symptoms either arent apparent in the early stages of the disease or they mimic common stomach and digestive issues that are often mistaken for minor ailments.
What are the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
The most common early symptoms are:
- abdominal bloating, pressure, and pain
- abnormal fullness after eating
- increase in urination
- increased urge to urinate
Ovarian cancer can also cause other common symptoms, such as:
- back pain
- changes in menstruation
- painful intercourse
- dermatomyositis (a rare inflammatory disease that can cause skin rash, muscle weakness, and inflamed muscles)
- weight loss
Some of these symptoms resemble common ailments and may trouble you temporarily. But if the symptoms persist they need to be taken care of. The symptoms indicated above can become severe as the tumour grows.
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Early Detection of ovarian cancer:
Consult a doctor if Above Mentioned Symptoms Persist
Early stage of ovarian cancer often cause no severe symptoms. The symptoms may include abdominal swelling or bloating (due to a mass or a buildup of fluid), pelvic pressure or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and/or urinary symptoms (having to go urgently or too often).
These symptoms can also be caused by other less serious conditions. The symptoms can be more severe when caused due to ovarian cancer, but that isnt always true. So if you’re facing any such issue, consult a doctor.
The 2 tests used most often to screen ovarian cancer are transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test.
TVUS is a test that uses sound waves to look at the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries by putting an ultrasound wand into the vagina. It can help find a mass (tumour) in the ovary, but it can’t actually tell if a mass is cancer or benign.
CA-125 is a protein in the blood. In many women with ovarian cancer, levels of CA-125 are high. This test can be useful as a tumour marker to help guide treatment in women known to have ovarian cancer, because a high level often goes down if the treatment is working.
Regular Health Check-up
All women must go for a health check-up at least once a year before menopause and every six months after menopause, since the probability of having ovarian cancer is higher in menopausal women.
This will not only help detect a form of cancer that you may be suffering from or developing but also help in your overall well-being.
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March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Women Fitness believes in raising awareness to help women stay aware about the symptoms and get diagnosed at the early stage.
Come let us join hands to fight against this deadly disease.