woman in pain

A report by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine uncovered evidence that ovarian cancer may be ‘a constellation of different cancers’ rather than a single disease – and that it may not even originate in the ovaries, Daily Mail reports.

Ovarian cancer is a disease that claims the lives of thousands of women every year and it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

The report found that ovarian cancer may not even originate in the ovaries but tissues outside of the ovaries, including the fallopian tubes and eventually metastasize to the ovary.

While the report noted that ovarian cancer has no distinct symptoms, there are a few symptoms women should watch out for according to the American Cancer Society.

1. Bloating

2. Pelvic or abdominal pain

3. Trouble eating or feeling full quickly.

4. Urinary symptoms – including having to pee more often.

According to the report in Daily Mail, while these symptoms may arise from non-cancerous diseases or cancers of other organs, when they occur as a result of ovarian cancer, the symptoms are persistent and occur more often (and are more severe) than usual.

The American Cancer Society advises women to see a doctor – preferably a gynaecologist – if she has these symptoms more than 12 times in a month.

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer include

1. Fatigue

2. Nausea

3. Back pain

4. Pain during sex

5. Constipation

6. Menstrual changes

7. Abdominal swelling with weight loss.

The American Cancer Society also noted that these symptoms are also likely to occur in women who don’t have ovarian cancer.

The Daily Mail report noted that while it’s difficult even for the most skilled practitioner to identify or feel ovarian tumors, a woman who experiences the symptoms listed above should ask her doctor to conduct one of two tests: A transvaginal ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test.

It should also be noted that these tests even though they are the bests options available, are not completely accurate.