The symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague and unremarkable, that’s if the patient notices anything at all. It has been called “the cancer that whispers,” because it advances by stealth and when patients first realise something is wrong, the disease is already in a very advanced stage. Sadly, early detection is very rare and only seems to happen by coincidence if a woman is scanned for some other unrelated reason.
The message is to be alert not alarmed – the time to worry (and consult a doctor) is if you experience all 4 symptoms or if any symptom is severe and persists.
here is a useful acronym B-E-A-T for Bloating, Eating changes, Abdominal discomfort and Trouble urinating. Fight Like a Girl: about Ovarian Cancer Symptoms by By Emily Williams (OTMJ)
Any woman will know some of these feelings as ordinary variations in the monthly cycle. If you feel yourself that something is unusual for you, don’t let anyone trivialise it. Trust yourself and your knowledge of your own body. Keep going back to your GP or try different doctors till you find one willing to check up. The tests might be as simple as a blood test and ultrasound scan to give you peace of mind.
I have written more about the (non)-symptoms on an early post here, and gave links to useful programs on ABC Radio National where there are transcripts and podcasts.
More information also may be found here:
Ovarian cancer: symptoms every woman needs to know by ABC Health & Wellbeing