Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer will affect an estimated 22,000 women in the United States this year. Once known as the "silent killer," it often was not found until it spread beyond the reproductive organs.

The good news is that today — with more education of the signs of ovarian cancer and new treatment options — ovarian cancer is generally being diagnosed and treated earlier, before it has spread.

Learn about the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer:

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

While the exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, most women with this disease do have one or more risk factor. If you believe that you are at risk for ovarian cancer, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with your primary care doctor.

  • Postmenopausal
  • Obesity
  • Having no children/pregnancies
  • Fertility drug use
  • Male hormones
  • Estrogen and hormone replacement therapy use
  • Family history of ovarian, breast or colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Talcum powder use (on genitals)
  • Smoking and alcohol use

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Checklist

The signs of ovarian cancer are often subtle. Risk factors considered in combination with any symptoms can help determine if additional testing may be required to rule out ovarian cancer. In addition to general, nonspecific abdominal pain or fullness, back pain or increasing abdominal size, symptoms include:

  • Abdominal discomfort and/or pain
  • Gas, indigestion, pressure, swelling, bloating or cramps
  • Nausea, diarrhea, constipation or frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of fullness even after only a light meal
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina

If you are experiencing any of the above for a prolonged period of time, please contact your doctor.