What Are the Early Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer?

Reviewed on 6/29/2021

Ovarian Cancer
Warning signs of ovarian cancer may include bloating, abdominal pain or swelling, feeling full quickly after a meal, and more.

Ovaries are small glands on each side of the uterus responsible for producing eggs as well as the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. In ovarian cancer, a mutation in the genetic material of ovarian cells leads to uncontrolled, abnormal cell growth.

Unfortunately, early-stage ovarian cancer often goes undetected because it rarely causes symptoms until cancer has already spread to other organs.

Warning signs of ovarian cancer may include:

Since many of these symptoms may also be caused by noncancerous diseases, it is best to consult your doctor to confirm a diagnosis. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, sonography, blood test and, if required, a computed tomography (CT) scan to check for tumors in the ovaries.

What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer?

Risk factors for ovarian cancer include:

Of course, it’s important to remember that ovarian cancer may develop even in the absence of any risk factors. Similarly, the presence of one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that someone will definitely develop the condition

Procedures such as hysterectomy or uterus removal (with or without the removal of ovaries), birth control pills, and breastfeeding are known to reduce the risk of developing certain ovarian cancers.


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