Early Detection: 5 Warning Signs of Ovarian Cancer to Watch For

Women should remain vigilant for early symptoms of ovarian cancer to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

5 Signs of Ovarian Cancer You Should Watch Out For Early Detection

Women often overlook the initial signs of ovarian cancer, attributing them to aging, weight gain, or other less serious conditions. Consequently, ovarian cancer is notoriously challenging to detect in its early stages when treatment is most effective. Despite the vague nature of ovarian cancer symptoms, it’s crucial to monitor their duration. If symptoms persist for one to three weeks or are not alleviated by over-the-counter medications, it’s important to consult a doctor. Recognizing these early symptoms may enhance a woman’s chances of detecting and treating ovarian cancer promptly. Dr. G. Vamshi Krishna Reddy, Director of Oncology Services and Consultant Medical Oncologist & Hemato Oncologist at Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, shares five potential signs of ovarian cancer in this article.

1. Bloating

Many women have experienced bloating, a sensation of feeling excessively full. While bloating is common, particularly around menstruation, persistent daily bloating lasting up to three weeks is unusual and warrants attention.

This is among the most common early symptoms of ovarian cancer. If you consistently experience bloating along with abdominal swelling and stomach discomfort, it could indicate an underlying issue that requires medical evaluation.


2. Constipation

Constipation is a common gastrointestinal symptom associated with ovarian cancer. It’s important to monitor for frequent changes in your bowel movements. If you experience persistent constipation that is not relieved by any remedy or medication, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation for possible ovarian cancer.

3. Prolonged pain

If you’re experiencing lower back pain lasting one to three weeks, accompanied by sharp abdominal and pelvic discomfort, it’s important to note whether this pain is new or persistent. While these symptoms can coincide with various conditions, including ovarian cancer, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for a thorough examination and diagnosis.

4. Alterations in Bladder Function

Women often mistake urinary difficulties such as discomfort or urgency when urinating for a urinary tract infection (UTI). While this may sometimes be the case, it’s not always so. If you experience urinary issues frequently, it could be indicative of a gynecologic or reproductive condition, such as ovarian cancer. Specific symptoms associated with ovarian cancer include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Pressure or pain in the bladder
Alterations in Bladder Function

5. Decreased Appetite

One prominent sign of ovarian cancer is a loss of appetite. While this symptom could be attributed to other causes, experiencing loss of appetite along with abdominal pain and cramping may indicate ovarian cancer. Early indicators of ovarian cancer also include feeling full quickly and having difficulty finishing even small meals.

These initial signs of ovarian cancer should not be ignored by women. Any unusual symptom that may be related to an underlying condition like cancer should be taken seriously. Timely detection can facilitate prompt treatment.