Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, more than 22,000 women will receive a diagnosis of, and more than 13,000 women will die from, ovarian cancer. As with any cancer, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment and long-term survival of ovarian cancer. The Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance reports that 46% of women with ovarian cancer survive five years past diagnosis. That number rises to 90% for those diagnosed in the earliest stages. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is known as the “silent killer,” as symptoms often go unnoticed or ignored.
10. Abdominal Pain or Cramping
Unfortunately, many of the warning signs of ovarian cancer are nonspecific symptoms that you may already experience on a regular basis. Abdominal pain and cramping are two such symptoms. Many women suffer painful periods and cramping throughout their reproductive years. However, changes in the frequency, pain level, and severity may be an indication that something new is going on. Don’t be afraid to contact your physician if you notice unusual symptoms of pain or cramping.
9. Back Pain or Pressure
Back pain is another nonspecific symptom that can point to many ailments. Muscle strain, arthritis, and poor posture can all lead to back pain. However, a buildup of fluid due to ovarian cancer can also lead to strain on the lower back. Furthermore, tumors may press against the tissues and muscles of the lower back region, causing sensations of pain and discomfort.