Published Apr 29, 2019
There is no screening test for ovarian cancer, but doctors say it is important for women to be aware of symptoms which can indicate something is wrong.
The signs of ovarian cancer can include feeling bloated or full, pain in the pelvis or abdomen, nausea, vomiting, or changes in bowel habits. As we all know, many of these can be similar to symptoms many women experience monthly with their menstrual cycle.
“We don’t have a good screening method, but if you have symptoms, it’s very important that you go to your physician because there might be an opportunity that we can detect it when it’s still early stage,” says Dr. Jose Alejandro Rauh-Hain, a gynecologic oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. “It’s very important that patients are not afraid to ask questions to their physicians. Because the sooner we can diagnose the cancer, the better that prognosis.”
Only about 20% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed early, according to the American Cancer Society. Most women are diagnosed after menopause, and roughly half are over the age of 60.