Potential Signs of Ovarian Cancer You Should Never Ignore

One in 78 women gets ovarian cancer. The good news is that 90% of women have a five-year survival rate when diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages. The bad news is that 80% of cases don’t get detected until they’re advanced. Unfortunately, this significantly impacts survival rates, which is why so many refer to ovarian cancer as the “silent killer.”

In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, our team at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine in Manhattan, New York, wants to shine a light on this serious disease. We know firsthand that knowledge is power: The more you understand about ovarian cancer, the easier it is to recognize the signs of this condition and get treated early.

What is ovarian cancer?

This gynecological cancer affects the almond-sized ovaries attached to your uterus. These small organs produce eggs during your reproductive years, along with the hormones estrogen and progesterone. 

There are different forms of ovarian cancer, depending on where it begins, including:

What makes ovarian cancer so serious is that it often advances without detection until it spreads within your abdomen and pelvis. At this point, it becomes harder to treat.

Understanding your risks of ovarian cancer

Any woman can develop ovarian cancer, but certain factors increase your chances. For example, most women with ovarian cancer are between 50-60 years of age. There are also some ovarian cancers caused by inherited genetic mutations, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, two genes known to increase your risk of breast cancer.

Additional factors that can increase your risk of ovarian cancer include: 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent ovarian cancer, but we can discuss your personal and medical history to identify your individual risk. We can also recommend screenings to help with early detection.

Recognizing ovarian cancer symptoms 

Ovarian cancer is different for every woman. To protect yourself, it's essential to know your body, pay close attention to any changes you notice, and talk to us when you know something just isn’t right.

Signs that could indicate ovarian cancer include:

If you notice these symptoms for longer than a week or two, you should contact us so we can help protect your health. And, remember, these changes don't guarantee that you have ovarian cancer. However, taking the right steps when you see something suspicious can help save your life.

To learn more about ovarian cancer or to schedule an appointment, call us at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Safety Tips for a High-Risk Pregnancy

Have you been told your pregnancy is high risk? Are you wondering what you can do to have as safe of a pregnancy as possible? Here are some tips to help keep you and your baby safe and healthy as your due date approaches.

Most Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is a common concern for women between the ages of 15 and 55. It could be caused by normal menstrual cramps, or it could be a sign of an underlying condition. Find out what the most common causes of pelvic pain are here.

Bleeding During Pregnancy: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Any amount of vaginal bleeding can be worrisome when you’re expecting, but it doesn’t always mean something’s wrong. Find out what causes spotting or bleeding during pregnancy, and why it’s important to call your obstetrician anytime it occurs.

When Do Ovarian Cysts Require Medical Attention?

Most women experience benign ovarian cysts regularly, sometimes without even knowing it. In some cases, however, cysts can rupture or might be malignant. Find out when it’s time to seek medical treatment for your ovarian cysts.