Ovarian Cancer Symptoms: Subtle Signs That May Be Missed: Check Your Collarbone

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner, eventually forming a tumor.

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Mr Saurabh Phadnis, consultant gynecologist and gynecological oncologist at London Gynecology, pointed out some «subtle symptoms» of ovarian cancer that are «often overlooked».

These include:

  • watery vaginal discharge
  • Any change in urinary frequency, particularly urgency, can be mistaken for an infection.
  • Change in bowel habits, particularly diarrhea, often mistaken for IBS
  • Persistent cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue may be a sign of fluid buildup in the chest.
  • Unusual lumps such as in the groin or near the collarbone.

Dr John Butler, Medical Director of The Lady Garden Foundation and Consultant Gynecological Oncology Surgeon at The Royal Marsden, said: «Ovarian cancer was called the silent killer, but we now know that most women have symptoms that can help an early diagnosis.

He adds: “The most common symptoms are abdominal swelling or bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, reduced appetite or faster feeling of fullness, and the need to urinate more often.

“These symptoms are common and usually do not mean there is a problem; nevertheless, If they persist after a few weeks or increase, it’s important to get it checked out.»

The doctor said that in common with other cancers in the abdomen are other symptoms such as indigestion, change in bowel habits, feeling tired, back pain, unintentional weight loss, shortness of breath, feeling of a new lump, or vaginal bleeding abnormal.

Dr. John pointed out that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are not related to the menstrual cycle and usually progressively worsen over time.

He said: «It’s important to keep track of any symptoms you have and seek medical advice if you’re worried, as there’s usually something we can do to help and organize any tests to make sure there’s nothing major to worry about.

«If you have any severe symptoms it’s important to seek medical advice immediately, for more subtle symptoms it’s worth getting checked out if they haven’t resolved within six weeks.»

The doctor said that the risk of ovarian cancer increases with age and that most women are diagnosed after menopause.