Ovarian cancer has the worst prognosis of all gynecological cancers and it accounts for 4% of all cancers in women. Ovarian cancer has been called the "silent killer" because it was thought to have few symptoms and it is difficult to diagnosis in early stages. There are no good screening tests for ovarian cancer, including Ca125. The Ca125 test is not recommended as a screen for ovarian cancer and is mainly used to look for recurrence in previously treated cancer.
Several recent studies have shown that we were wrong to think ovarian cancer is "silent". There are seven symptoms that have been found to be associated with ovarian cancer and they are often overlooked by physicians and patients. Since only 30% of women are diagnosed in early stage of cancer, these symptoms, especially in combination, can be a clue.
- Abdominal distension (an increase in abdominal girth)
- Abdominal pain
- Increased urinary frequency
- Loss of appetite
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Abdominal bloating
- Rectal bleeding