In France, one in 70 women will develop ovarian cancer and about 3,111 will die from it each year. Unfortunately, most women are unaware of the dangers or symptoms of ovarian cancer and many realize that they have a problem too late. There is also a general lack of knowledge about ovarian cancer and its effects on the body. UPMC Health guides us to have a deeper knowledge of this disease.
Ovarian cancer is delicate. It is difficult to detect and can spread faster than any other cancer in the female reproductive system.
It starts in the ovaries and can quickly spread to the rest of the reproductive system if not treated quickly.
However, her symptoms are often overlooked or attributed to other less harmful health problems and are easily forgotten by the patient and the doctor.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer
1. Abdomen swollen
Swelling occurs when fluid, called ascites, accumulates in the abdominal cavity. This is a symptom that occurs later as the disease progresses, but can still be attributed to other health problems.
2. Persistent pain in the abdomen or pelvis
Chronic pain in the abdomen or pelvis is a clear sign that something is wrong. They can be a sign of ovarian cancer or the presence of cysts in the ovary . Any pain that does not go away after a few days should be taken very seriously.
3. Feeling full or having difficulty eating
Curiously, women with ovarian cancer will soon feel satiated and will have difficulty eating as much as usual. This is probably due to the fact that cancer disrupts the hormones that control the metabolism.
4. Urinary disorders
Frequent urination is a sign of ovarian cancer. The ascites that builds up and causes the swelling mentioned above will exert pressure on the bladder. That’s why women with ovarian cancer have to go to the bathroom more often. Unfortunately, this symptom is often attributed to bladder problems, such as urinary tract infection .
5. Lack of energy
A general lack of energy that can not be corrected by a diet or physical exercise could also be a sign of cancer. If despite a healthy and balanced diet and quality sleep, you feel tired all the time, it’s worth seeing a doctor to find out what’s going on.
6. Abnormal bleeding and change of menstruation
Any abnormal bleeding should be reported to a health professional. If you are pre-menopausal and you suddenly have more painful periods or an irregular cycle, you should immediately consult your doctor. This is especially true if you are unable to control an irregular cycle and with pain even during oral contraception.
How to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer?
The contraceptive pill :
The combined contraceptive pill reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 50% if taken for 10 years or more. However, you and your doctor should evaluate the benefits and other possible health risks associated with taking the combined contraceptive pill.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding:
It is recognized that an increased number of ovulatory cycles increases the risk of ovarian cancer and, conversely, a decrease in the number of cycles reduces the risk. A woman who has multiple pregnancies and who has breastfed will not ovulate as much during her life. Indeed, during pregnancy, the woman does not ovulate and breastfeeding delays the onset of ovulation after pregnancy.
When hysterectomy is performed for medical reasons, it helps reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Early detection is essential to defeating ovarian cancer. The sooner it is identified, the sooner you can start treatment. If you notice any of these signs for an extended period of time or if you can not explain them, see your doctor as soon as possible.