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Ovarian cancer: not-so-silent killer

Recent studies show that despite having been called a silent killer, ovarian cancer does have symptoms, even in its early stages. The American Cancer Society, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, in a consensus statement, recommend that you see your doctor—preferably a gynecologist—when these symptoms are present almost daily and last more than a few weeks:

  • bloating
  • pelvic or abdominal pain
  • trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • urinary symptoms such as an urgent or frequent need to urinate

Although the symptoms are relatively common and may accompany a number of illnesses, the cancer groups hope increasing awareness will send more women to their doctors sooner because early diagnosis is essential for successful treatment.