AdventHealth Health Hub: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

Find out more about risk factors and warning signs.

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Listening to your body can save your life.

Like many forms of cancer, your odds of beating ovarian cancer dramatically increase if you catch it early. Unfortunately, there is no screening exam available. That’s why listening to what your body is telling you is so important. Every woman should know the warning signs of ovarian cancer. Our bodies often alert us when something is wrong, so it’s imperative to become more aware of your body, health history and family health patterns.

Who is at risk for ovarian cancer?

You are at potential risk for ovarian cancer if any of the following are true.
• You are age 40 or above.
• You are obese (body mass index of 30 or higher).
• You have a daughter, sister or mother who has had ovarian cancer.
• You have had colorectal, uterine or breast cancer.
• You have never given birth.
• You have used estrogen-only hormone therapy after menopause.

Most women have a Pap smear every one to three years, but Pap smears cannot detect ovarian cancer. Women should discuss pelvic ultrasound and other options with their gynecologists. Know the warning signs of ovarian cancer. Treatment is most effective when ovarian cancer is detected early. Symptoms are often vague and may not show up until later stages of cancer.

Easy-to-overlook warning signs may include:

• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Back pain
• Belly swelling with weight loss
• Diarrhea, constipation or frequent urination
• Fatigue
• Feeling full quickly
• Pain during intercourse
• Stomach discomfort, such as pain or bloating

If any of these symptoms are not normal for you and last for more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider. Spotting any cancer of the reproductive system is all about knowing your body and what is and isn’t normal for you.

Trust the leaders in gynecologic care.

At AdventHealth, our expert, compassionate team uses some of the most advanced tools available to fight reproductive cancers. Our oncology program is recognized for outcomes that exceed the national average in treating ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, vulvar cancer and vaginal cancer. That’s why U.S. News & World Report has named AdventHealth one of the best hospitals for cancer and women’s care in Orlando. No one should fight cancer alone. We provide the comprehensive support you need — every step along the way to recovery.

To schedule an appointment, connect with one of our navigators at HerHealthNavigator.com.

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