Awareness

Symptoms

Reducing your risks
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We don’t know the causes of most ovarian cancer. Research into the causes of ovarian cancer is continuing in Australia and overseas. We do know that there are some factors that may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and that there are some protective factors that may reduce a woman's risk. Learn more

Every woman needs to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Make sure you do.

It can be difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer because the symptoms are ones that many women will have from time to time, and they are often symptoms of less serious and more common health problems.

But we do know that ovarian cancer is NOT a silent disease. Women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer report four types of symptoms most frequently:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain.

  • Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.

  • Needing to urinate often or urgently.

  • Feeling full after eating a small amount.

If you have any of these symptoms, they are new for you and you have experienced them multiple times during a 4-week period, download our Symptom diary now. Ovarian Cancer Australia's Symptom Diary helps you to monitor your symptoms. You can then take the completed diary to your doctor to assist with diagnosis.

Download our Symptom Diary
For print version click here or get our iPhone App from the iTunes App store by searching Kiss & Makeup

Other symptoms to be aware of

The Symptom diary will also help you to track any other symptoms that are not usual for you. These may include:

  • Changes in your bowel habits.
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
  • Bleeding in-between periods or after menopause.
  • Back pain.
  • Indigestion or nausea.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Pain during intercourse.

Be aware — but don't make yourself sick with worry

It is important to remember that most women with these symptoms will not have ovarian cancer. Your doctor should first rule out more common causes of these symptoms, but if there is no clear reason for your symptoms, your doctor needs to consider the possibility of ovarian cancer.

If you are not comfortable with your doctor's diagnosis or you are still concerned about unexplained persistent symptoms, you should seek a second opinion.

You know your body better than anyone else, so always listen to what your body is saying and trust your instincts.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - February

Ovarian Cancer awareness month

Each year in February Ovarian Cancer Australia runs a national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month campaign to highlight the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to raise funds for our programs. To view what's happening click here.

Personal Story

Ilka
Ilka

My name is Ilka and in May 2011 I began a journey that didn’t result in a holiday or a job...

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