As there is no effective screening for this disease, it is crucial to know and understand the signs and symptoms to look out for, as well as the risk factors, to best protect yourself.
A risk factor for the disease is if you have a blood relative who has had ovarian cancer, such as your mother, sister or daughter.
Some of the other risk factors include:
- Family history of breast or colon cancer
- Women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes- this leads to a higher risk of both ovarian and breast cancer
- Increasing age
- Medical conditions, such as endometriosis
Similar to many other conditions, symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be unclear or confused with other medical conditions.
To help with any confusion and to ensure all women are taking the right steps, Ovarian Cancer Australia has compiled a list of symptoms to look out/check for.
These symptoms include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
- Appetite loss, feeling full quickly or indigestion
- Urinary changes, such as frequency or urgency
Ovarian Cancer Australia has reminded people that the symptoms above can be caused by less serious or unrelated medical conditions. If you do, however, notice any of the symptoms do become persistent, it is strongly encouraged you see your GP for an examination.
To learn more about ovarian cancer and the work that Ovarian Cancer Australia does to educate women on the signs and symptoms, you can find their website here.
You can also give them a call on their hotline: 1300 660 334.