Excessive bleeding is a sign of cancer

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Von, medical editor and biologist
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Ovarian cancer often goes unnoticed for a long time and is often discovered late. The problem: the tumor has a lot of space in the lower abdomen to grow and therefore hardly causes any symptoms. Only when it is so large that it presses on other organs or forms settlements (metastases) in other organs do abdominal complaints or digestive problems occur. Sometimes women notice a sudden increase in their waist size.

No Ovarian Cancer Symptoms: Late Diagnosis

The tricky thing about tumors on the ovaries is that they do not cause symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Ovarian cancer only causes problems as the disease progresses. The tumor is only discovered in 29 percent of cases if it is still limited to the ovarian tissue (level one of the so-called FIGO classification). One or both ovaries can be affected. In 59 percent of patients, the disease is only diagnosed when the tumor has already metastasized in the abdominal cavity (FIGO III).

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms: Nonspecific signs

As soon as there are metastases in the abdominal cavity in women with ovarian cancer, they experience non-specific symptoms. These symptoms are not typical of malignant ovarian tumors and can also occur in connection with other diseases.

The main signs are:

  • Sensation of pressure in the lower abdomen, possibly accompanied by nausea
  • General digestive problems, for example bloating, loss of appetite, gas, increased urination, constipation (the tumor may press against neighboring organs such as the intestines or the urinary bladder)
  • Inefficiency, tiredness and exhaustion
  • Production of excessive abdominal fluid (medical: ascites), so that the stomach swells - despite constant or even falling weight
  • Bleeding outside of normal menstrual bleeding, bleeding after menopause (rare symptoms of ovarian cancer)
  • In the advanced stage, there may be fever and night sweats

Similar symptoms also occur with canker sores that form on the ovaries as secondary tumors of other cancers, such as Krukenberg's tumor. The origin is stomach cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes

In the third stage of cancer, metastases can develop in the lymph nodes. This is because the cells of the cancerous tumor get into the tissue fluid and are filtered out by the lymph nodes. They settle there and multiply. The result: the lymph nodes swell. As a rule, this does not cause any complaints. However, as the cancer cells multiply, the lymph nodes can swell to a diameter of several centimeters. They can then be seen with the naked eye or can be felt. In some cases a thickened lymph node leads to a diagnosis of cancer. If painless lymph node swelling occurs for no apparent reason and does not resolve on its own after a few weeks, you should consult a doctor.

Ovarian cancer symptoms: metastases outside the abdominal cavity

In the case of advanced ovarian cancer, the tumor has left the abdominal cavity (FIGO IV. Then there are symptoms that are triggered by distant metastases in other organs. Metastases in the lungs often remain asymptomatic because they usually settle in the periphery of the lungs. However, persistent ones can also Coughing attacks, coughing up blood or pneumonia occur, and distant metastases in other organs, such as the liver, result in weight loss, loss of appetite, night sweats or nausea.

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