Am I at Risk of Ovarian Cancer? How do I find out?

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Oxford Screening Information Sheet

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

What are the key symptoms of ovarian cancer?

Although there are no specific symptoms of ovarian cancer, many of the symptoms women may suffer relate to the increase in size of the ovary that can also occur in non-cancerous conditions.

1. None – It is vitally important to understand that it is possible for there to be ovarian cancer present and there be no symptoms. That is how ovarian screening could work in your favour. As more and more women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer following an abnormal CA125 test result rather than from symptoms of an enlarged ovary, then the presence of symptoms is clearly not a requirement for the diagnosis of cancer ie you can have ovarian cancer without any symptoms. Screening tests can detect some cancers before symptoms develop. Treating early cancers is the best chance for a cure. To find out more about ovarian screening tests - click here

2. Increasing size of the abdomen with persistent bloating – this can be of very gradual onset over months and years so it may not be noticed until the swelling is pronounced.

3. Abdominal and lower abdominal pain

4. A feeling of fullness after eating even after a small meal

5. Having to pass urine more frequently than normal (frequency) including through the night (nocturia)

6. Back pain is sometimes a symptom

Important notes

1. If you have symptoms, you can have a CA125 screening test but you also need to go to your doctor.


2. If you have any of these symptoms then there is a risk of ovarian cancer but there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms. So do not be too worried but do not ignore what your body is telling you and make sure you take action.

Author: Dr Colin Clelland

Tel 07534 900707


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