10 unusual symptoms of ovarian cancer you should never ignore | Health

Ovarian cancer, the silent killer, can go unnoticed as it has hardly any signs and symptoms in the earlier stages. The symptoms appear mainly after the disease has advanced and the treatment becomes tricky. Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries or in the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum. Women have two ovaries on each side of the uterus, located in pelvis. Ovaries are responsible for releasing female hormones and also producing eggs that make reproduction possible. It is important to catch ovarian cancer in its early stage by paying close attention to your body and notice signs that are persisting for long and not usually common for you. (Also read: Can breakfast cereal or cookies cause ovarian cancer? Here’s what experts say)

Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the ovaries, which are the reproductive organs in women that generate eggs(Shutterstock)

“Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the ovaries, which are the reproductive organs in women that generate eggs. It is referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because early signs are rarely noticeable and, when they appear, can easily be confused with symptoms of other illnesses. On the other hand, early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer depend on understanding the symptoms and indicators of the disease,” says Dr. Mandeep Singh Malhotra, Director- Surgical Oncology, CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi.


Dr Malhotra in an interview with HT Digital talks about 10 unusual symptoms of ovarian cancer that can help detect ovarian cancer.

1. Abdominal bloating

This is a condition that refers to a feeling of fullness or tightness in the stomach area. It is often accompanied by visible swelling or distention of the abdomen. Bloating can be caused by various factors, such as overeating, gas, constipation, and some underlying medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or ovarian cancer.

2. Pelvic pain

This refers to discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis region. It can have various causes, including menstrual cramps, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and conditions affecting the reproductive organs.

3. Frequent urination

When ovarian cancer cells grow on outside of the bladder wall or ascites in the pelvis compressing the bladder, women experience the need to urinate more frequently.

4. Loss of appetite

It is a typical ovarian cancer symptom. In addition to a loss of appetite, early indicators of ovarian cancer include feeling full quickly and having trouble finishing even modest meals.

5. Fatigue

This happens when you feel very tired or exhausted most of the time. Cancer can produce tiredness for a variety of reasons. Cancer can alter normal protein and hormone levels, which are connected to inflammatory processes in the body and can induce or worsen weariness.

6. Back pain

This is also linked to ovarian cancer. Severe lower back discomfort that interferes with sleep just before being diagnosed. This is mainly caused by fluid that gathers in the pelvis and causes discomfort in the lower back tissues.

7. Indigestion

Often known as dyspepsia or an upset stomach, this causes pain in the upper abdomen and can be an early symptom of ovarian cancer.

8. Constipation

This is a condition in which a person has uncomfortable, infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stool. If the first steps you take do not relieve your new constipation, you should be worried.

9. Changes in menstruation

This means your periods may come early or late. In the case of ovarian cancer, it may cause irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or bleeding between periods.

10. Abnormal vaginal bleeding

It means bleeding after menopause or during sexual intercourse, which is a cause of ovarian cancer.

“Ovarian cancer can be identified by a pelvic examination, ultrasound, CT scan, or blood testing. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is around 90%; therefore, it’s critical to be aware of the signs and seek medical assistance as soon as possible. To ensure a complete examination and diagnosis, it is imperative to speak with a healthcare provider if you consistently experience any of these symptoms. Early detection plays a vital role in improving the chances of successful treatment and long-term survival,” concludes Dr Malhotra.

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