Patient Comments: Ovarian Cancer - Symptoms

For ovarian cancer, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Comment from: Mimi13328, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

Six days ago I began to experience a pain on the left side of my abdominal. After several hours, I took Tylenol with sleep aid. In the morning, the pain had subsided, but I had swelling in my pelvic area. I basically felt my uterus swollen. I felt confused because I was not sure if the bloated, tight feeling was my abdomen or my uterus. I also had diarrhea and gas pains. I basically felt as if I were pregnant, which was impossible because I had a tubal ligation in 2009. I live in Puerto Rico and have health insurance from New York. I could not find any doctor who would accept my health insurance and I dreaded to take a trip to the emergency room because I knew I would be seen in two days. Monday morning I land in NY and I have an appointment with my gynecologist to determine what's wrong. I am worried and anxious because all my symptoms are very similar to others that have posted for ovarian cancer. I will post my results once I visit with the doctor on Monday.

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Comment from: Jessica O, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I have been having so many issues since late February 2016. I ended up in the emergency room 3 times due to pain and abnormal vaginal bleeding but they didn't seem worried about it. They were under the impression that it was due to my IUD (intrauterine device that had been recently removed. The pain was intense, yet I was sent home. When I went for a follow up, the gynecologist told me to simply take the birth control pill and that all would be ok by early September. I followed my gut and went to another gynecologist that my general physician had referred me to. This doctor is amazing. He took the time to listen to my concerns, my family's background (my mother had breast cancer twice) and we discussed the vaginal bleeding that just wouldn't stop, the terrible cramping, bloating, fatigue, you name it, I have it! I finally got a vaginal ultrasound (twice) that showed ovarian cysts. His last resort was to test another birth control that would stop the bleeding for three months. To date, the bleeding has not stopped. This month only, I have bled 15 days, and it has been like this for months. Concerned, I went back to his office and he booked me for a laparoscopy and seemed a lot more concerned when I mentioned the constipation and the sensation of feeling pressure on my bladder and frequent urination. My gut has been telling me since February that it may be ovarian cancer but I will only know sometime in October. My symptoms are getting worse and I am not sure if I can even wait till mid-October. My pelvic area is in so much pain and my legs are fatigued as well.

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Comment from: English Rose, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had symptoms for at least nine months before being correctly diagnosed with ovarian cancer (OC). The major symptom was bloating, but also weight gain, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, lower back pain, and hormonal changes (increased hair growth). It took several months before my general physician (GP) referred me to a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist, and my GP, the specialist, and I, too, thought my symptoms were gastric. Of course, a CT scan would have revealed more information. At any rate, I did not improve. One evening, after physical exertion, I had excruciating abdominal pain on my right side and went to the emergency room (ER) 24 hours later. After several tests that revealed a lot of fluid build-up, my husband and I were told that I had ovarian cancer. My CA-125 test was (and has remained) negative. Patients must be assertive in pressing their doctors for more tests if symptoms do not improve. I was very lucky that the extreme pain that sent me to the ER was caused by an ovary bursting. That led to more tests which confirmed OC. I am staged at 1C and the cancer had not spread beyond the one burst ovary. But if my ovary had not burst, I don't know how much longer it would have taken before diagnosis. I had some but not many risk factors. I was not overweight, did not have a family history of OC, and took the pill for many years, so these would suggest a lower than average risk for OC. But age was against me (65) and I never had any children. I was referred to a wonderful gynecological oncologist and underwent extensive surgery followed by six rounds of paclitaxel and carboplatin. I'm now four months on from the last chemotherapy treatment and initial follow-up tests look good. Fingers crossed.

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Ovarian Cancer - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your ovarian cancer?
Ovarian Cancer - Diagnosis Question: How did your ovarian cancer diagnosis come about?
Ovarian Cancer - Stages Question: What stage was your ovarian cancer when you were diagnosed?
Ovarian Cancer - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis of your ovarian cancer?

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