Symptoms for Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

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The silent killer may no longer be silent. Cancer experts have
identified some symptoms that can alert women to be tested for ovarian cancer. The disease ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women.

Sheree Moore, an official with the Bryan chapter of the American Cancer Society, said the news could not have come sooner.

"Ovarian cancer causes more death than any other cancer of
the female reproductive system," Moore said. "It counts for three percent of all female cancers."

Moore said according to projections for this year, more than 22,000 thousand women will be diagnosed with the disease.

Sadly, she said of those diagnosed cases more than half of them will lose their lives.

"About 15,200 will die. And in Texas that accounts for about 860
deaths from ovarian cancer," Moore said.

Facing numbers like these, women and physicians are excited about the announcement that there are now symptoms that can direct doctors to look for ovarian cancer.

The symptoms include, bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, and urinary problems.

Scott and White OB/GYN William Rayburn said even though these symptoms are common in women, considering that the disease is usually diagnosed in its third or fourth stage--overreaction could possibly be a good thing.

"What I tell my patients is it's the persistence of symptoms over time or the progressive nature of symptoms," Rayburn said. "They're continuous or getting worse that really raise the flag."

Rayburn also said of the female population, women who are over the age of 50 should probably pay particularly close attention to these symptoms.

Health officials are hoping these signs lead to earlier detection and survival.