The Early Symptoms and Signs of Ovarian Cancer

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Ovarian cancer symptoms

Many people mistakenly believe that a Pap smear test can detect ovarian cancer. In fact, there is no reliable routine screening test for ovarian cancer, so women with a family history of the disease or other risk factors should talk to their doctor about genetic testing and other steps to monitor or help reduce their risk. Routine gynecologic care and annual pelvic exams are recommended to follow up on symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Early warning signs of ovarian cancer

In most cases, ovarian cancer isn’t diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, only about 20 percent of cases are diagnosed at an early stage. Typically, this is because ovarian cancer symptoms either aren’t apparent in the early stages of the disease or they mimic common stomach and digestive issues that are often mistaken for minor ailments.

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