Ovarian cancer: Symptoms and warning signs

Would you recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

ovarian cancer symptoms

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Katherine Taylor, Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, explained that the four most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Persistent stomach pain

  • Persistent bloating or increased stomach size

  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly / nausea

  • Needing to urinate more frequently

Occasionally there can be other symptoms, although these are more rare.

These include:

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)

  • Back pain

  • Pain during sex

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Post-menopausal bleeding (remember that any post-menopausal bleeding must ALWAYS be investigated by a GP).

However these symptoms are, of course, similar to those of other conditions.

Remember that the key features of the symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • Their persistency - they don’t go away

  • Their frequency - they occur most days

  • The symptoms are new - they started in the last 12 months

  • The symptoms are unusual - they are not normal for you

It's important to see your GP if you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if you experience them over a long period of time (on most days for three weeks or more).

If you have already seen your GP and your symptoms have continued or worsened, you must go back to explain this.

REMEMBER: Ovarian Cancer Action recognises that speaking up about your health can be difficult and has developed a symptoms diary to help women record their symptoms and take it to their GP.

Search for ‘Ovarian Cancer Action’ in your phone’s app store, or download a paper version at Ovarian Cancer Action.

You may also wish to read...

Ovarian Cancer: Everything you need to know

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