Wednesday, September 5, 2012

OC Awareness Month #5- There are subtle symptoms

With no screening test for ovarian cancer what can a woman do to catch the disease as early as possible?

As ovarian cancer progresses there are subtle symptoms similar to symptoms of gastrointestinal problems but a woman should not ignore them. A woman needs to listen to her body and if the following symptoms happen every day for more than two weeks she should see her doctor- preferably a gynecologist or gynecologic oncologist.

  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs
  • A swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Feeling very tired all the time
Less common symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling the need to urinate often
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause)

Source: NCI

I experienced pain on my left side and what I thought were symptoms of menopause. I'm glad that I mentioned those symptoms to my gynecologist at my annual visit.  And very happy that she didn't ignore what I told her. She sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound and my path down the road to an ovarian cancer diagnosis began.

You can use this OCNA symptom diary to track persistent symptoms and bring it with you when you visit the doctor.

Every day is a Blessing!

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