In a consensus statement, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has identified signs and symptoms suggesting early ovarian cancer. Sometimes called a silent killer, ovarian cancer is rarely detected early because its initial signs and symptoms are considered vague and nonspecific. But research has shown that contrary to this assumption, the disease does cause telltale symptoms, even early in its course.
The ACS urges women to seek evaluation if they experience certain signs and symptoms that are a change from their normal experience and that persist daily or nearly daily for more than a few weeks. These include:
* pelvic or abdominal pain
* trouble eating or feeling full quickly
* urinary signs and symptoms, such as feelings of urgency or frequency.
According to the ACS, 93% of women with ovarian cancer who are diagnosed and treated early survive for 5 years or more and most are cured. But because only 19% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed early, the disease is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women.
The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists join in the consensus statement, which has been endorsed by numerous other groups, including Gilda's Club. For more information, visit the ACS Web site at http://www.cancer.org.