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Ovarian Cancer Community
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For ovarian cancer, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose because symptoms often do not occur until late in the disease. Symptoms do not occur until the tumor has grown large enough to apply pressure to other organs in the abdomen, or until the cancer has spread to remote organs. The symptoms are nonspecific, meaning they could be due to many different conditions. Cancer is not usually the first thing considered in a woman having symptoms.The only early symptom of the disease is menstrual irregularity. Symptoms that come later include the following:Pelvic pain or pressurePain with intercourseAbdominal swelling and bloatingUrinary frequencyConstipationAscites: Collection of fluid in the abdomen, contributing to abdominal distension and shortness of breathLoss of appetiteFeeling full after eating littleGas and/or diarrheaNausea and vomitingAbnormalities in menstruation, pubertal development, and abnormal hair growth (with tumors that secrete hormones)
36 Responses
Avatar universal
I am currently recovering from surgery and have had my first cycle of chemo. I put off taking my symptoms to the GP for some time. The first was bladder weakness, and having seen all the TV ads and assumed in a woman of my age 52 that incontinence was natural. I bought the pads. The next symptom was a bloated feeling in my lower abdomen. Again I believed the ads and bought the yogurt. A very sore hip finally took me to the GP who sent me to hospital where a 16cm mass was found. Please if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, they are not "just our age".  Get them checked out.
Avatar universal
I have just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, luckily it has been caught very early but this was only due to the fact that my periods became very irregular. I didn't have a period for 5 months then for the last 6 have had one constantly. If I hadn't persisted going to the doctors it could have been very serious. I was just told that it was the menopause as I am now 50. Don't give up if you know something is not right we know our bodies better than anyone.
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I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 3-3-08. Two very large tumors removed (malignant). 6 months of chemo followed. Carbolatin and Taxol. I was not able to do more than one treatment of Cisplatin intraperitineal due to pain. Looking back I had one to two years of OC symptoms. Irregular and heavy periods with clotting. I was in nursing at the time. Other nurses at work said it was menopause. I was 47 years old. They said I was "shedding the lining of my uterus." Chronic back pain. Everyone in nursing had back pain. Changes in bowel habits came. My doctor said I was just constipated. At the very end I had horrible heartburn which never happened unless I was pregnant which I was not. I started buying Tums. I missed 14 days of work due to stomach pain and got fed up and went to a doc in the box (not my primary care doctor who I had been seeing). He felt the football size lump in my belly I had been letting others feel for quite some time, including my primary care doctor. He sent me for an ultra sound which led to surgery.  My oncologist surgeon said I would wake up most likely with stitches from pelvis to sternum. I did not. I woke up with cesarean type scar low on pelvis. He said the tumors were not cancer. Relatives in town for my surgery went back home relieved. About 3 days later I got a call that pathology came back and I did have cancer. My surgeon apologized. Said I was grade 3 very aggressive but unstaged. I began chemo. I know a lot more now than I did then and I am carefully, cautiously yet very optimistically watching my health. My tumor marker numbers hover at 7. I have had a few cat scans that have been good. I have learned to live in the moment and love life! Keep hope alive sisters!
Avatar universal
I am a 6 year survivor.  My symptoms were: extreme fatigue (sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day), lower backache, and feeling full after eating very little.  I had cystic granulosa cell tumor ovarian cancer at the age of 41.
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I recently went to the hospital bleeding badly from the rectum and was told I had "Ischemic Colonitis". However, I continued to have diarrhea, no appetite and a lot of pain in the left side, lower and some upper region. After a CT scan I was told Saturday that I have a growth, about 1-1/2 inches on my left ovary. I had a hysterectomy back in the 70's but only the Uterus. I am very afraid it is cancer and am now waiting for a pelvic ultrasound to get more info. I am having trouble thinking positively for which I am ashamed of myself! The waiting is making me crazy! God bless all of you and please pray for me as well.
Avatar universal
My wife started getting her periods closer together about a year ago, maybe about a week early.  We thought it was pre menopause and dismissed it.  She also had bouts of depression and slept much of the day.  Suddenly, her abdomen began to swell to the point where she looked like a late stage pregnancy.  This happened very quickly, over the course of a week.  Went into Dr. and did CT scan which showed a large, grapefruit sized tumor on her ovary.  Two weeks later, she had surgery, but the cancer had spread so much into the bowel, intestines, colon and lymph nodes, the surgeon could not complete the operation.  After the operation, she continued to fill with fluid and every three days she would have the fluid drained because she could not breathe or eat.   She was constantly in horrible pain and could not sleep.  For three weeks after surgery, she could not hold down solid food or even liquids.  My wife literally starved to death because the cancer would not allow her any nutrition.  We tried tpn, as well and that didn't work.  She eventually passed away three weeks after her surgery due to respiratory failure.  This disease is horrible.  One day, you appear to be perfectly healthy and a month later, you are no longer here.  It's unfair.  We need to find a screening method for ovarian cancer.  Ladies in your 40's, if you feel tired, and your periods are getting closer together.  If you have any changes in your lower abdomen or reproductive parts, don't put off going to the doctor because you assume it is just pre menopause.  Get a full pelvic exam.  Get an abdominal CT scan if you can.  It may save your life.  When you have overt signs such as heavy bloating and distension of the abdomen, it is already too late.  Ovarian Cancer will take your life.
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