Cancer occurs when cells in an area of the body grow abnormally. Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer among women. Historically, ovarian cancer was called the “silent killer” because symptoms were not thought to develop until the chance of cure was poor. We now know this is often untrue and several signs are much more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population, even in women with early-stage disease.
If you are diagnosed with or suspected of possibly having ovarian cancer, it is important to seek care from a gynecologic oncologist—medical doctors with specialized training in gynecologic cancers who will manage your care from diagnosis to completion of treatment.
Ovarian cancer can be treated at any stage, but cure rates are higher when it is caught early. That’s why it’s important to know your risk factors and the signs and symptoms that may be subtle and easy to ignore.
You are at greater risk for ovarian cancer if you:
- Are over age 55.
- Are obese.
- Have had endometriosis.
- Have family members who have had ovarian cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations or family members known to have a cancer causing mutation in one of the genes linked to an inherited increase in ovarian cancer risk.
Symptoms that are associated with ovarian cancer:
- Bloating and feeling full too quickly even after a small meal.
- Pelvic pain or pressure.
- More frequent or urgent need to urinate and/or constipation.
- Abdominal or back pain.
The presence of these symptoms does not mean you have ovarian cancer and can be indicators of any number of issues. But, women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
At the Overlake Cancer Center, all the expert care you need is under one roof. Our renowned gynecologic oncology treatment team is on your side, ready to provide patient-centered, cutting-edge multidisciplinary compassionate care.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (425) 635-3400.