TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries, which are the female reproductive organs located on both sides of the uterus. This cancer represents three percent of cancer cases in women. It is difficult to detect ovarian cancer early. Symptoms may resemble other conditions and there may even be no symptoms at all. “There is no reliable screening test to find early signs of this disease,” said Dhivya, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Kauvery Hospitals Electronic City, Bengaluru, India, as quoted by the Indian Express, Sunday, March 27, 2022.
If detected early, the chances of a five-year survival rate are 93 to 98 percent. About 1 in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime. But four in five go undiagnosed in the early stages, Dhivya said.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated every March, is an important moment to learn which symptoms to look out for.
In its early stages, ovarian cancer may not show any visible signs. There are other types of symptoms that are usually associated with more common conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections. In general, women begin to get symptoms when the cancer begins to spread, attacking other parts of the body.
The early signs of ovarian cancer overlap with the symptoms of other common conditions. Most of the time these symptoms are caused by something that is not cancer.
Waiting, ignoring symptoms, or hoping the symptoms will go away is not a good decision, the expert said. “You’re an expert on your body, so trust your intuition if something is wrong or abnormal, and follow up with a doctor,” she says.
Symptoms that are often overlooked include bloating, difficulty eating, abdominal or pelvic pain, abdominal swelling, changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea, urinary frequency and urgency, and back pain. Other signs are loss of appetite due to always feeling full after snacking, menstrual changes, unusual vaginal discharge, pain during sex, and chronic fatigue and weight loss.
“If treatment for any of these conditions has been done and symptoms persist for two weeks or more, follow up with a gynecologist,” he said.
Not like the type cancer In addition, there is currently no single screening test to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. Instead, several tests are used to look for tumors in the ovaries and then test them to determine whether the tumors are benign or malignant.
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