Every year in the US, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and around 15,000 women die of the disease. Those areaggering statistics and yet the numbers seem to be rising from year to year, sadly, because women are not properly educated on how to diagnose ovarian cancer warning signs.
The rest of this article is taken from a post I wrote recently for my blog. I received positive feedback on the content because the facts are taken primarily from Mayo Clinic and a study done by the American Cancer Society – both of which are very reliable sources of information. So I decided I wanted to share it with the EzineArticles readers.
The blog post is as follows:
The ovarian cancer warning signs can be difficult to detect in the early stages because some of the most common symptoms like indigestion and abdominal swelling can be indicative of a number of other medical conditions.
In order to avoid a misdiagnosis, keep this simple rule in mind:
If the symptoms or signs are constant and only seem to get worse, then talk to your doctor immediately.
According to Mayoclinic, recent studies show that women with ovarian cancer are more likely compared with other women to consistently experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
- Urinary urgency
- Pelvic discomfort or pain
Other warning signs can manifest themselves in the following forms:
- Constant indigestion, gas or nausea
- Unexplained changes in bowels habits, like constipation
- Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
- Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
- Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
- Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
- A consistent lack of energy
- Low back pain
- Changes in menstruation
The American Cancer Society reports that nearly 90% of the women in a conducted study who were diagnosed in early stages said that they experienced one or more symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, pelvic pain or back pain. However, only 3% of women diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer did not report any symptoms.
In addition, 55% of the total number of women studied made an accurate diagnosis within two months after their symptoms appeared. Sadly, it took three to six months for 19% of the women, and more than a year for 11% of the women to realize that they indeed had ovarian cancer signs. In short, the longer the diagnosis took, the more advanced the cancer became.
In some instances, women with symptoms delayed their diagnosis by waiting an average of two to three months before talking to their doctors, with 22% of the women surveyed saying they ignored their symptoms, because they were unaware their symptoms could be due to cancer .
How To Avoid A Delayed Diagnoses
They say that prevention is better than cure, and the easiest thing you can do to avoid a delayed diagnoses is to take an annual pelvic exam. Not only will this confirm the common symptoms that in often times lead to a misdiagnosis and validate your ovarian cancer warning signs, but it will also place you in a mindset that will help you live longer.