Stomach bloating may be a tell-tale symptom of a tumour in the reproductive organs

Elly Mayday documents getting treatment for ovarian cancer

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Cancerous tumours develop when cell growth doesn’t respond to DNA instructions to stop. This leads to the cells dividing over and over again, causing more copies of itself that form into tumour. When a tumour develops in the reproductive system, such as the ovaries or Fallopian tubes, there are certain warning signs. The charity Target Ovarian Cancer draws attention to the four main symptoms of the disease.

As well as persistent bloating, urinary symptoms include needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual.

Other signs include pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s below the stomach), and/or feeling full quickly or losing your appetite.

Tell-tale urinary symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently
  • Needing to urinate more urgently

Four signs of ovarian cancer:

  1. Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
  2. Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
  3. Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)
  4. Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)

Occasionally, there might be other symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as unexplained weight loss and extreme fatigue.

Aside from urinary issues, there might be other toiletry signs of cancer.

This could include changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation.

Any vaginal bleeding post menopause – when there’s been 12 consecutive months without a period – needs to be investigated by a GP.

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All ovarian cancer symptoms are “persistent”, meaning they don’t go away.

Another telling sign is that the symptoms are frequent enough to happen more than once every month.

In addition, it’s telling if the symptoms are new to you, are now frequent or persistent.

These symptoms could also be similar to those experienced from ovarian cysts or irritable bowel syndrome.

The GP can order a CA125 blood test and ultrasounds to see whether or not ovarian cancer needs to be investigated.

If the tests suggest ovarian cancer, you might be referred to a gynaecological oncologist for further tests.

Am I at risk of ovarian cancer?

Women over the age of 50 have a heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Most cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women who have gone through the menopause.

Up to 20 percent of ovarian cancer cases can be attributed to an inherited faulty gene.

This is known as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that can be tested for if you have a close relative, such as sister or mum, with breast or ovarian cancer.

Over risky factors for ovarian cancer include:

  • Being overweight, particularly if the BMI is 28 or over

Various studies have shown that using talcum powder in between the legs can increase the risk of ovarian cancer (albeit marginally).

It’s for this reason Target Ovarian Cancer advise against using talcum powder around the vaginal area.

“The talcum powder could possibly travel into the vagina through the cervix and into the womb.

“Once in the womb it could then possibly reach the fallopian tubes and then the ovaries.

“The powder could then cause irritation and over a period of time cause cancerous changes to the cells of the ovaries,” the charity explained.

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