Over 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. In Singapore, it is the fifth most common cancer among females. It is a serious disease that affects women worldwide. But among the symptoms of ovarian cancer in females, one of the biggest signs is often ignored. Did you know that many of us could be experiencing one of the major symptoms of ovarian cancer in females without even knowing it?
This symptom is persistent bloating.
Why does this major symptoms of ovarian cancer in females often go undetected? Because it is mistakenly associated with eating too much salty food or simply a pre-menstrual sign.
But a UK Charity called YouGov wants to help change all this by stressing the importance of taking this symptom seriously.
Out of all the early symptoms of ovarian cancer in females, bloating often goes ignored
According to a recent survey, the charity’s researchers found that only three out of 10 of women who experience persistent bloating will seek medical help.
Out of 1,142 women surveyed, only 392 said they would call their doctor if they were “bloated regularly.” Naturally, they were unaware that this is one of the major symptoms of ovarian cancer in females.
It’s especially alarming because ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide. More worrying still, ovarian cancer is often detected when it is already in its advanced stages, making treatment much more difficult.
One important thing to note about cancer-related bloating is that the bloating associated with ovarian cancer is persistent; it doesn’t come and go.
Early symptoms of ovarian cancer in females also include:
- feeling full immediately when eating
- struggling to eat
- frequent urge to urinate
- abdominal or pelvic pain or discomfort
Like persistent bloating, these symptoms don’t just come and go. But they can also happen suddenly. So if bloating persists for more than two weeks, book an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Other ovarian cancer symptoms to watch out for:
- lower back pain, which eventually worsens
- pain during sex
- weight gain
- weight loss
- menstrual cycle changes
- vaginal bleeding
Is there a way to prevent ovarian cancer?
At present, researchers have found no way of preventing this type of cancer. But they have, however, pinpointed certain factors that lower its risks, including breastfeeding, taking birth control pills, and having already given birth.
If you are between the ages of 55 and 64, or if you have a family history of cancer, you are more at risk of developing this condition.
If you suspect you are at risk for ovarian cancer, consult your doctor as early as possible.
As with other types of cancers, early detection is the best way to fight it.
Sources: BBC News, Healthline, World Cancer Research Fund, SingHealth
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