Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Ovarian cancer may not cause any specific signs or symptoms, particularly in its early stages. When it does cause symptoms, these may be nonspecific and vague. Symptoms and signs can include

  • abdominal enlargement or swelling due to the presence of tumor or fluid in the abdomen,
  • abdominal fullness,
  • early satiety (feeling full early),
  • changes in bowel or bladder habits, or
  • clothes not fitting well.

Other signs and symptoms can include

  • shortness of breath,
  • leg swelling, and
  • pain in the abdomen or pelvis.

Fatigue may be present, but it is considered another nonspecific symptom.

Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be very subtle or vague, affected women may not be diagnosed immediately because the condition is not suspected at first. When ovarian cancers are very large, they are more likely to cause symptoms related to obstruction or pressure on other organs.

Causes of ovarian cancer

The cause of ovarian cancer is not well understood. Both genetics and environmental factors may play a role. Some ovarian cancers arise in women with inherited genetic mutations.

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other ovarian cancer symptoms and signs

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2019

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