Patients and Caregivers

Symptoms

Ovarian cancer had long been thought of as a “silent killer” because symptoms would go unnoticed until the disease had already progressed and spread beyond the ovaries. However, recent studies have revealed that there are vague, and often overlooked, symptoms that can appear in earlier stages. These include:5

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urgent or frequent urination
  • Faint but ongoing gastrointestinal upset (gas, nausea, indigestion)
  • Unexplained fatigue and changes in bowel habits

Recognizing these symptoms in the early stages is critical. Currently, less than 20% of cases are diagnosed in the early stages and the 5-year survival rate is 20% to 30%, but when diagnosed in the early stages, the survival rate increases to 90% to 95%.3 A physician should be contacted if one or more of these symptoms persists for longer than 2 weeks.5