Usually, most cases of ovarian cancer do not get detected or diagnosed until the disease has grown into an advanced stage. This is mainly because the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are not specific in early stages.

Most women tend to experience major symptoms only when the cancer has advanced and spread beyond the ovaries. To be on the safer side, women who have a family history of ovarian cancer or are considered to be at high-risk due to any genetic risk factor, should speak to their doctors on getting screened, tested and also use other monitoring devices to rule out the possibility of malignancies. Routine visits to the gynecologist, annual pelvic exams, ultrasound, and CA-125 (blood test) are also recommended in order to monitor for early signs or for screening of ovarian cancer.

What are the most common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?

  • More than 75% patients present to the clinic when the disease has spread throughout abdominal cavity. The common symptoms include abdominal discomfort, pain or abdominal distension. These symptoms are due to presence of mass or fluid in the abdominal cavity. Sometimes patient may experience intestinal symptoms like nausea, constipation, and early satiety.


Other symptoms that can be occasional

  • Pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid in lung spaces)
  • Bowel or intestinal obstruction
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Difficulty eating

The following symptoms are associated with the possibility of granulosa cell tumors:

Granulosa cell tumors are a very rare kind of ovarian cancer, and being aware of these symptoms is of utmost importance. Granulosa cell tumors come from the stromal cell group and the following symptoms can be indicative of the presence of such tumors:

In prepubescent girls

  • Early onset of puberty
  • Acute abdominal pain

In premenopausal women

  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Irregularities in the menstrual cycle
  • Enlarged abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain.

In postmenopausal women

  • Breast tenderness
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Acute abdominal pain

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