Ovarian Cancer Symptoms & Lowering Your Risk

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Published on September 14, 2018

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms & Lowering Your Risk

graphic image of ovaries

graphic image of ovariesOne in 75 women will be affected by ovarian cancer in her lifetime. The disease attacks one or both of a woman’s ovaries. The most common symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling like you have to go) or frequency (having to go often)

These symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions, but if you have these symptoms more than 12 times a month, see your doctor so the problem can be identified and treated if necessary.

Some factors that have been linked to ovarian cancer include:

  1. Age – The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases with age and commonly develops after menopause.
  2. Personal or family history – Family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer.
  3. Hormone therapy – Most commonly caused by undergoing estrogen-only therapy for more than five years.
  4. Inherited cancer syndromes – Gene mutations that have been generationally passed down through the DNA.
  5. Reproductive history – Woman who have never given birth or gave birth after the age of 35 are more susceptible to ovarian cancer.
  6. Endometriosis – A medical condition where the lining of the uterine grows outside the uterus.

“There are ways to lower your risk of developing ovarian cancer,” Says Gina Tran MD, Family Medicine at PIH Health Whittier Hospital. “Talking with your doctor is your first step.”

Visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor to find a physician near you.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.