Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect before it has begun to spread. Dr. T Scott Jennings discusses some of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
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Ovarian cancer is a disease that is considered to be called a silent killer but honestly, most days have shown consistently that patients do identify sometimes well before they get diagnosed in most situations. Ovarian cancer unfortunately is very difficult to detect before it has spread to some of the greatest of problems. So, the most common symptoms of ovary cancer and women who have the disease would be very bland but persistent symptoms. It’s mostly abdominal or pelvic pressure. It’s usually very persistent in nature. It doesn’t come and go very much. It’s very persistent. Some have trouble eating, most characteristic way then eat, they feel like cant eat a full meal without feeling too full. They, instead of eating a full sandwich, then half a sandwich they feel like they’re full for instance. Really would they be throwing up or terribly nauseated but just kind of chronically uncomfortable with eating would be a common symptom. Sometimes bladder pressure, feeling of increasing pressure on the bladder from some surface in our belly or at some place. Constipation is so vague. It’s hard to use but constipation with these other symptoms would be another alert that something else might be going on as well. One of the problems is, all these symptoms are really indicative of some growth in the pelvis and it should be very substantial in size and portion before you really get substantial change in how you feel. And so, many of these symptoms are unfortunately, coming a little bit later in the game unfortunately. The ovarian cancer is very hard to detect when it’s early. There's really no true or early detection for ovary cancer. It’s a disease that really has eluded anytime, blood screening, and even careful ultrasounds really do not detect this cancer on a population base. In other words, you, as a single person might have a lot of ultrasounds and might be lucky enough to find an early ovary cancer. But if you look at studies of large groups in women that have been done hundred of times, really it’s hard to see in ultrasounds and blood test and things like that. The role of doing blood test once a year or twice a year do detect early cancer, early ovary cancer but never been proven to work. They just don’t work Usually, they’ve seen a number of physicians, frequently their GI doctor or their family doctor wherever there is just persistent bloating, fullness, pressure symptoms usually for months before it gets figured out. One of the unfortunate things is, that many woman in their 50’s or 60’s or even their 40’s will have some of the symptoms just related to just aging and maybe gaining a little weight or there's other G.I. diseases such as diverticulosis that cause just a lot of uncomfortable cramping, abdominal fullness and pressure that become very somewhere to what ovary cancer causes. So, it’s not uncommon for somebody to be diagnosed with diverticulosis for six to 12 months before they’re actually found out, maybe a cancer of the ovary unfortunately. Ovarian cancer is a disease that’s very much dependent upon where it is when it’s initially operated on and to do establish their prognosis. Or woman who have early disease do really quite well. Woman who have later disease unfortunately do very poorly on many situations. Our treatment today is better than it’s ever been. We have better cure rates and we had even have five years ago, but it’s a pretty difficult treatment we’re on and stuff.