You don't need to panic, but you shouldn't assume these signs are 'nothing,' either. Plus three ways to lower your risk.
"Ovarian cancer is the No. 1 killer of all the reproductive-organ cancers," Karlan says. "For years it's been known by the misnomer of the silent killer, and we really need to put that aside. Ovarian cancer clearly has symptoms."
The four most frequent are:
- feeling that you're getting full earlier than you typically would when eating
- changing bowel or bladder habits, such as urinating more frequently
- low back or pelvic pain
It's not unusual to have one or two of these symptoms occasionally, particularly after a big meal. But if you have two or more symptoms daily for more than 2 weeks, call your doctor.
Expect a pelvic exam, transvaginal sonogram, and perhaps a blood test to check for cancerous cells.