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Sometimes what gives life can also take it away.
Such is the case with ovarian cancer, wherein abnormal cancerous cells develop in a woman's ovaries - the reproductive organ responsible for producing eggs and secreting the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Unfortunately, this cancer is a silent killer as 80% of the time it is detected only in the advanced stages.
Knowing all this, the best thing we can do for now is become aware of the following symptoms of ovarian cancer.
#1 Vague Abdominal Pain, Pressure, and Bloating
As the ovarian tumor grows larger and larger, it ruptures the ovaries and applies pressure on the surrounding abdominal organs. But since our brain cannot process internal pain as well as it can zero-in on external pain, this gives rise to a vague sort of discomfort in the abdominal and pelvic region.
#2 Abnormal Fullness After Meals
Since the tumor presses upon the internal organs in our abdomen, it also constricts the stomach from expanding to its full capacity, which gives rise to this symptom.
#3 Difficulty in Eating, Indigestion, and Constipation
One of the biggest signs of cancer (regardless of its site of origin) is loss of appetite and drastic loss of weight in a short span of time.
The same is seen in ovarian cancer and should alert you that something is wrong inside your body.
#4 Increased Urination and Urge to Urinate
This is caused by the compression of the urinary bladder by the growing ovarian tumor. So if you are frequenting the bathroom too often, even though you aren't drinking enough water to justify this, then you might have ovarian cancer.
Just remember that the same symptom is observed during pregnancy. So if you are not sexually active, this is a big sign that you have something sinister growing inside of you (if you have the other symptoms as well).
And if you are, just remember that ovarian cancer mimics pregnancy and is known to give false-positive pregnancy test results.
Debilitating fatigue is a big sign of cancer (although it can be a sign of many other diseases and conditions as well). So if you are tired the entire day even after getting a good night's rest, and also have abdominal pain and increased urination, then it might be because you have ovarian cancer.
#6 Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual irregularities are also seen in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Nevertheless, irregular periods are definitely a cause for concern and warrants a visit to the gynaecologist.
#7 Painful Intercourse
Again, this is a symptom of ovarian cancer only if everything else is ruled out, like inadequate foreplay and rough sex. Plus it needs to be in conjunction with two or more symptoms from this list.
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