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Blogs | 25 October 2022

What are the Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer early symptoms

Cancer of the ovary is a disease that manifests as a malignant tumour in one or both of the ovaries or the fallopian tubes. The ovaries are the reproductive organs for the production of eggs in addition to hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer’s early warning symptoms aren’t always easy to see. In the early stages, the cancerous growths have not yet progressed very far beyond the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, which is why there may be no symptoms. Women tend to ignore the early warning signs of ovarian cancer or believe that their symptoms result from age, increased weight, or other less significant issues.

Early-stage ovarian cancer has an approximate 80–90% five-year survival rate, which refers to the proportion of women who live for five years or longer after being diagnosed with the disease.

Here’s a video explaining about, Is it ovarian cancer if you have a node in ovary

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

If your symptoms are persistent—they don’t come and go, don’t go away in one to three weeks, or aren’t relieved by over-the-counter medications—talk to your doctor. Women may have the opportunity to diagnose and treat the condition early by recognizing these early signs and symptoms:

  • Bloating :

Most women have experienced bloating, an unpleasant sensation of being too full. Bloating is common, particularly around the time of your period, but daily bloating that lasts for up to three weeks is not typical.

One of the most prevalent early indicators of ovarian cancer is a constant sense of being bloated and full. And abdominal distension, or apparent swelling in your stomach and bloating, might indicate something is wrong.


  • Changes in your bathroom routine :

About 20% of ovarian cancer patients report diarrhoea, constipation, or some other alteration in bowel habits.

Additionally, ovarian cancer patients may have a stronger need to pee urgently or more often. About 7% of people claim to have had urinary issues before diagnosis.

Along with increased urine frequency and urgency, some women reportedly experienced burning when urinating, while others thought their bladders were still full despite emptying them.

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

Abdominal and pelvic discomfort is one of ovarian cancer patient’s most often reported symptoms. Around 39% of women with the diagnosis reported having stomach discomfort in recent research.

It depends on the individual how they are feeling the agony. Some claim that there is strong pressure there. Others have described it as having the same sensation as menstruation cramps.

There may be variations in the precise nature of the pain. As tumors expand, pressure may be placed on various human organs, such as the bladder, rectum, bowels, and spine.

  • Backache :

Millions of individuals have back discomfort annually, which is a common ailment. Injuries often bring backache, not cancer, as the case may be.

Consult a healthcare expert about your backaches if you haven’t wounded your back recently or if the therapies you’ve tried haven’t helped reduce the intensity of it. Symptoms of ovarian cancer might include lower back or side pain.

  • Having trouble eating :

Ovarian cancer often causes patients to have a lack of appetite. In the early stages of ovarian cancer, you may experience a decreased appetite, feeling full more quickly than usual and having trouble eating even the smallest of meals.

If there is a new sign, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician.

Also Read : Is Eating Less Meat Associated with Reduced Cancer Risk

  • Changes in the menstruation cycle :

Ovarian cancer may affect your period if you have menstrual cycles. It could lead to:

  1. Missed a menstruation 
  2. More bleeding than normal
  3. Experiencing spotting or bleeding outside of your period might signify that you are pregnant.
  4. Observe a change in the consistency of your vaginal discharge compared to what you’re familiar with.

If you encounter vaginal bleeding and are post-menopausal, consult your health professional. Bleeding after menopause might sometimes indicate ovarian cancer.

Suppose you notice a change in the frequency, length, or pattern of your periods. In that case, you should consult with a gynaecologist.

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

One of the less well-known symptoms of ovarian cancer is pain during intercourse. Other factors that might contribute to it include:

  1. Endometriosis
  2. Dryness of the vagina
  3. Inflammation
  4. Vaginismus

A health expert can assist you in determining the source of any discomfort you experience during sex. Even if it isn’t ovarian cancer, getting the issue identified and treated may save you from experiencing mental discomfort in addition to the physical signs.

Also Read : Is Cancer Hereditary from Parents?


In its earliest and most curable stages, ovarian cancer is not often shown by obvious symptoms. Since the signs might be similar to those of other disorders, they are often misdiagnosed when they do appear.

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms, including but not limited to: changes in bowel routine or hunger, stomach discomfort, unusual vaginal bleeding, bloating, pain in the back or sides, missing periods, increased urgency or regularity of urination, or painful intercourse.