Ovarian cancer symptoms
In its early stages, ovarian cancer usually has no symptoms. This means it is typically diagnosed when the cancer is more advanced and has spread to other organs.
Occasionally, symptoms of ovarian cancer do occur before the disease is diagnosed.
These symptoms may include:
- pressure, pain or discomfort in the abdomen or pelvis
- a swollen or bloated abdomen
- changes in appetite, such as not feeling like eating, or feeling full quickly
- changes in toilet habits (e.g. constipation, diarrhoea, passing urine more often, increased wind)
- indigestion and feeling sick (nausea)
- feeling very tired
- unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- changes in the pattern of periods, or vaginal bleeding after menopause
- pain during sex.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have cancer – they might be caused by another health condition.
If you have these symptoms and they are new for you, are severe or continue for more than a few weeks, it is best to arrange a check-up. Keep a record of how often the symptoms occur and make an appointment to see your general practitioner (GP).
|Ovarian Cancer Australia has produced a symptom diary to help you record any symptoms and talk about your health concerns with your doctor.|
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Sam Saidi, Senior Staff Specialist, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; A/Prof Penny Blomfield, Gynaecological Oncologist, Hobart Women’s Specialists, and Chair, Australian Society of Gynaecologic Oncologists, TAS; Dr Robyn Cheuk, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Gynaecological Cancer, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Sonja Kingston, Consumer; Clinical A/Prof Judy Kirk, Head, Familial Cancer Service, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead Hospital, and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Prof Linda Mileshkin, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Researcher, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Support Team, Ovarian Cancer Australia; Emily Stevens, Gynaecology Oncology Nurse Coordinator, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Dr Amy Vassallo, Fussell Family Foundation Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Merran Williams, Consumer.
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