Patient Comments: Ovarian Cancer - Symptoms

Question:

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

Comment from: Monique, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I'm concerned I have ovarian cancer. The gynecologist's office called today, and said they need me to come back sooner, because my blood test showed abnormal cells. I have really bad swelling in my legs and feet. I get sharp pain all the time in my right lower abdomen, but it's the left side they found the cysts. I have nausea, bloating, occasional night sweats, lots of fatigue, and low back pain. I have had constant urinary tract infections for about a year and half now, and nothing ever works to get rid of it no matter what they prescribe me. A huge worry of mine, besides to find out if I have cancer, is to be told I need chemotherapy, as I can't handle the idea of losing my hair. I'm scared to death of this. I know it's about my life, but to lose my hair would be devastating to me.

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.

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.

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.

Comment from: Rwwoc, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I was feeling bloated and gassy, and had lower back pain and distended abdomen. The symptoms came on suddenly and I had a diagnosis of ovarian cancer 2 weeks after seeing my primary care doctor and a month after noticing symptoms. I am never sick and I told my doctor I knew there was something wrong so she quickly ordered the ultrasound which led to a CT scan, MRI and then surgery.

Comment from: smiller32, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) so I get ovary pain. For the last month or so I haven't been able to tell if the pain is from my ovaries or kidney. It is in my lower back, left kidney area and ovary. I get bloated mostly on the left side and have a diarrhea on and off. I am concerned about ovarian cancer.

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Comment from: diana, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I am very concerned about ovarian cancer, it has been 8 months now, I have bad back pain and pain in my sides. I have also been bleeding on and off for 8 months, (weeks of bleeding then 3 days of non-bleeding then it starts again). I feel nauseous and full.

Comment from: susan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I am a registered theatre nurse and so was angry with myself for not thinking there was something really wrong. I had increasing constipation but because I had Hashimoto's disease (low thyroid) at the time my doctor and I put it down to that. The lower back pain I`d had for years, because of bulging lower discs. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2013. I had had a CA125 level done as my cousin had ovarian cancer which was 35 and exactly a year before had an abdominal ultrasound which was normal. My doctor was on holiday and I had to go three times to a medical center and demand a CT scan. It showed a huge adnexal mass secondaries on omentum so I had total hysterectomy. It was stage III C and greater and lesser omentum were removed. Abdominal port had to be removed so I only had one dose of IP (intraperitoneal) therapy but 6 cycles of IV chemotherapy. Then CA125 went up from 19 to 42 and I was worried but doctors were not. Then PET scan showed secondaries everywhere. More chemotherapy but I had an allergic reaction so not sure what can be done now. Always listen to your body and push for scans.

Comment from: Seeram, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I had absolutely no symptoms except bloating. I was fully energetic. I just did not get my period for one month and on doing sonography, mass was detected and subsequent tests revealed malignancy.

Published: May 28

I had ovarian cancer eight years ago and had a hysterectomy, appendectomy, and omentumectomy, followed by chemotherapy. My initial symptoms were very strange, firstly with altered taste and smell. I was uanable to eat because everything tasted so vile and altered. I lost 8 stone and slowly deteriorated over several weeks. I ended up practically bedridden by weakness. Many tests for stomach bugs were all futile. I eventually got so weak I told my GP I thought I was dying. He palpated my abdomen and found a large mass. Within two weeks, I was in the hospital and feeling much better. The cancer was encapsulated in a very large football-size cyst, which was removed successfully. Six months of chemo followed, with regular nonevasive check-ups. It is all just a memory now.

Comment from: taylor19, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I am 19 years old and have PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome). I always have pain but this pain is different this time, it is really severe pain and hurts all the way in the middle above my pelvic area. It hurts so badly and the hospital said last time I came in there they exhausted all there options because I came in for the same thing twice. I am worried about ovarian cancer.

Comment from: Beth, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I had problems with urination and thought of seeing a urologist or my obstetrician/gynecologist. Thank heavens I chose the latter. I had felt an unusual hardness in my pelvic region. It was initially diagnosed as a cyst, and that needed a CT scan. My Insurance would not allow this. Three months later, my wonderful gynecological oncologist, was able to approve the CT scan. He discovered a tumor that had encapsulated my right ovary, uterus and bladder. He removed it all! (With the exception of my bladder.) My lymph nodes were negative for cancer and after 4 months of preventative chemotherapy, a CT scan yesterday showed that in fact, I am cancer free. I was told that had I waited 2 additional months for my CT scan, I would have been dead. Fight for your insurance, ladies!

Comment from: concerned, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I have been feeling bloated and have a feeling of fullness no appetite at all. I have pain in my right side when I walk my dogs. I feel fatigue feeling and very moody. I have been tested and a CT scan and still no answers! I am concerned about ovarian cancer.

Comment from: Momof41982, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I am a 31 year old mother of 4. For the last year I have been in and out of my doctor's office with issues; kidney infections, bladder issues, and spotting and bleeding unrelated to my period. I went in 6 days ago and sat down and talked to my doctor. I"m always bloated. I have horrible gas and indigestion that never goes away. I"ve started having pain and a heavy feeling on the lower left side of my abdomen, and constipation for no reason. I have little to no appetite, and even when I do sit down to eat, I can"t finish my plate of food without feeling sick. My energy level is nonexistent. I struggle to get dressed and care for my family and house. He checked my abdomen and found a large lump. I"ve now gone for blood work and am waiting an ultrasound and other tests. He thinks its ovarian cancer. My maternal grandmother passed away from this when she 51 years old. And my 42 year old aunt (my mom's baby sister) passed away last year from ovarian cancer as well. Things seem to be happening very fast, and there really isn"t anyone around to talk to about it. My husband is terrified and I feel like talking to him makes it harder for him. It"s a lonely feeling going through this without someone to talk to about it.

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Comment from: Bowe, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I had severe lower back pain, nausea, tiredness and bleeding after many years of not having a period. I went to the gyno and she did a pap smear and some other tests. Everything came back normal. I went to my doctor, and he performed a pelvic MRI, which found the mass on my ovary. I went back to my gyno, and she ordered an ultrasound. Within three weeks of that, I went to see an oncologist. It is important to have a team of doctors helping you. If you know something is wrong with your body, pursue it with a vengeance. I have had the full ovarian cancer surgery and continue to be examined every three months.

Comment from: LuckyDuck, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I am 33 and was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My symptoms were: sharp painful sides, weight gain, and what I thought was a urine infection. I felt as if I needed to pee a lot but then always felt as if I hadn't gone. In my later stages, my symptoms were: kidney infections, back aches, and 4.5 pounds of weight gain by the time my operation had taken place. Inside my left ovary was a small, grade 1 tumor. After they removed it, I had six months of chemo and a 90% chance of survival. The odds are good that this will not come back. I can still go on to have children.

Comment from: bandnshaw, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I felt some pain in my right upper rib cage when I breathed deeply. My doctor's x-ray showed fluid in the lung cavity and I was referred to my oncologist. I have had breast cancer in both my breasts and had mastectomies 7 years apart, but they were both stage zero. He wanted to be sure it wasn't breast cancer and it wasn't. It took 2 1/2 months to correctly diagnose ovarian cancer after all kinds of scans and tests. I finished chemotherapy 3 1/2 months ago, but my doctor told me today that my CA-125 test has risen from a low of 7, then 12, then 20, and today 42. I will add that I had the BRCA1 test and result was negative.

Comment from: groovygal, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 24. The symptoms I experienced were occasional pains in the top of my thighs, and abdominal cramps that I attributed to an intestinal virus. Lastly, looking and feeling bloated, and my clothes were tight. I looked pregnant! After I was promoted at work, I had to have a routine physical where the doctor who examined me discovered my abdominal cyst, he advised me to go to my ob/gyn and get an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a mass which had to be removed but we did not have the technology we have today - nobody even thought of cancer. As a result, I had stage 2 ovarian cancer, so I had a complete abdominal hysterectomy, followed by 9 months of chemo, then a 2nd look laparotomy 10 months later. I have been blessed with good health and a great family. I got married to a wonderful guy and in 1996 I became a mom when we adopted a baby! I'm still here!

Comment from: forgotten, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I have experienced mild to moderate consistent pericardial effusion (pericarditis) which is chest pressure with chest and upper back burning pain with dry cough and nausea and diarrhea and pressure that goes up and down depending on how much pain and chest pressure I have that day, and shortness of breath. Legs and feet hurt and I am fatigued. I have gradually and slowly become more ill over time with the body constantly struggling to adjust to the increase in symptoms. Now, it hurts to digest food. And, I like to eat so now it has gotten serious for me. I became ill on October 14, 2004. Doctors have told me the following: you have stress, depression, anxiety, persistent mild to moderate pericardial effusion, fibromyalgia, menopause, cervical stenosis. It is all in your mind perhaps this medication can help. A doctor finally gave me an MRI on July, 2008. Guess what was found? No one was willing to check me for cancer. Why? They checked me for MS, infections, heart problems, arthritis, lupus, psychological problems, respiratory problems, etc. but refused to check me for cancer.

Comment from: Shawntee_lee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I haven't gotten an answer to my symptoms yet; I'm waiting to see a doctor who actually cares. My symptoms started over three months ago. It started out with what I thought was a bladder infection – having to pee all the time, burning, odor, and cloudy pee. I went and got tested for that and was told I had no infection. Then I noticed my stomach starting to swell up to the point that I looked like I was 7 or 8 months pregnant! I had gained 22 pounds in two weeks, which was odd, because I was working out and hadn't changed my eating habits. Also, I started having a dull ache/ heaviness on the left side in my pelvis area, which then traveled to my lower back and into my thighs. It's a dull ache that is constant every day. Also, I'm having issues with constipation, gas, and extreme fatigue. I can't even go out with my friends because I just don't have the energy. I feel like I'm falling apart.

Comment from: Terri-lee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

I'm 61 years old and have been unwell for about six months. I've gone to the doctor, who just gives me pills. Last month, things seem to be getting a lot worse – bloating, feeling full, lower back pain, no energy, tired, etc. I've asked my doctor to test for ovarian cancer. Today I'm having a blood text and next week I'm having a CT scan. I'm so worried that it might be ovarian cancer. I'm also concerned about the time it has taken to get tested since my first symptoms. Now I don't feel like eating, and even walking is painful. I just feel so sick and very tired. I hope I'm not over-reacting in thinking it could be ovarian cancer. I feel all alone.

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Comment from: Angel55, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I have IBS my entire life. I had two breast surgeries two times on both breasts to remove benign cysts. For two weeks felt tired and no appetite. Lower left abdominal pain then spread to right side then to entire abdomen. I had extremely painful bowel movements. I got a CT scan, which showed advanced me I'm losing intestines also.

Comment from: CatNhd, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 19

My sister-in-law has been fighting cancer for the last 21 years. She and her sister tested positive for the gene. She has had both her breast removed with cancer, has had ovarian cancer (stage 3 or 4), and has had a reoccurrence of the ovarian cancer. She has not gone into remission since the reoccurance of the ovarian cancer. She is filling up with fluid. Now they know the cancer is still there, but they do not know where it is. The CAT scans are showing nothing. So please, stay on your doctors, always.

Comment from: Proud Momma, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I found out I had ovarian cancer when I was 20 weeks pregnant. About a month after we found out, I started getting so sick that they diagnosed me with hyper-something (basically throwing up anytime something went into me). Finally, I had an ultrasound, and they found what they thought was a cyst. A week later, another ultrasound showed it had grown. I was told it had to be removed or it could kill the baby. So when I was 20 weeks pregnant, they did the surgery. I had one ovary removed and part of the other along with my appendix. Everything is fine now. My baby is 7 months old. I am now 24 years old. This happened one year ago. I will be tested for the next five years.

Comment from: Blondie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I am 37 years old and have had digestive problems all my life, so when I was always bloated and my clothes were tight, change in bowel habits, pain in my lower abdomen, I thought nothing of it. However, I went to my doctor anyway. He sent me for a CT scan after an exam, and I am scheduled for surgery in four days for my ovarian cancer. He is a wonderful doctor and hopefully, we caught it early.

Comment from: karstr, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

My symptoms for ovarian cancer were feeling like I had a bladder infection and abdominal pain. The worst pain was the very low backache that never went away and feeling tired all the time.

Published: June 17

I experienced primarily feelings of pressure and fullness in my abdomen, and my clothes getting tighter. Over 2-3 months I had 3 short episodes of severe stomach cramps resulting in vomiting. The third episode lasted intermittently for 3 days, and I sought treatment. My primary physician thought she felt a mass (missed by an acute care center) and sent me for CT scan, which picked up a 13-cm ovarian cyst. Surgery revealed a type 1A cystadenocarcinoma.

Published: June 17

Constant sharp pain in my lower left abdomen near hip.

Published: June 11

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in April 2007. My symptoms were a swollen stomach, which turned out to be a large cyst that was the size of a football when they removed it. When it was tested, it was malignant. Following further investigation, I underwent a hysterectomy followed by chemotherapy. I'm feeling good now. Well, so far, so good.

Published: June 09

My experience to finding out I had ovarian cancer was that I felt fine except my belly kept getting bigger like pregnancy. In a matter of two weeks, it looked like I was nine months pregnant. The doctor said 3 liters of fluid was building up inside me. I had a CAT scan but it didn't see much because of the fluid. Then I had an ultrasound: Bingo. I had surgery, chemo, and now I'm in remission. I continue to do blood work, follow my five-month checkups with my doctor, and keep a positive attitude, a lot of strength, and courage.

Published: June 06

I had a period for 1 day then I keep losing brown discharge not all the time but every now and then plus little very small clot that just happen once its just the brown discharge when I wipe myself.

Comment from: Zara, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I need your help on a health problem I've been having the entire past year. I've been experiencing lower abdominal pain, constipation, and a bloated stomach. In the first months I was tested positive for Urinary tract infection so I was given antibiotics treatment but the pain continued even months after that. The Echography and MRI of the stomach did not show anything but the CT-Scan showed that I have an ovarian cyst but not on the side where I usually have pain. It also showed a possible tumor in my liver. My doctor still does not have a clear diagnosis but I am starting to think that I might have ovarian cancer. What would you recommend me to do? Am I allowed to simply request a test for ovarian cancer from my doctor or is this something that the doctor should decide on?

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I'm a 30 year old caucasian female with no family history and none of the risk factors, except that I've never had children. I had a large, rapid-growing tumor on my right ovary. From June to September, it increased from 2.0 cm to 4.5 cm. With that I had constant pain in my abdomen, back, and hip. Around early August, I had frequent urination due, I believe, to the tumor's location near my bladder. Last week, the tumor and my right ovary were removed. My doctor did not find where the tumor had spread and I am considered tumor/cancer free pending the pathology report.

Comment from: Aku313, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 20

My wife was diagnosed with these very symptoms in the summer. Luckily, she is still alive. She was screened 3 months too late. These are hardly unique cases. Are all the doctors saving employers money or playing golf. I mean hello, in a big way. If there is swelling in stomach, pain, maybe a screening is in order. Not maybe, definitely. Sooner, not later. It may cost 1000 dollars, whatever, and your doctor will always have an escape, but it may save a life.

Comment from: Fran 3, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I too had the bloating and constipation. When diagnosed the tumor was the size of a large grapefruit and in 2 weeks it had grown to the size of a basketball. When I had the surgery it was wrapped around my colon. The doctor took her hands and unwrapped it from my colon. It had spread to the other ovary and that was all. I had a total hysterectomy and am very happy to be alive. It was a 2c stage and I hope for a full recovery.

Comment from: kennedyr07, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

Fatigue, depression, bloating, upset stomach, abdominal pain, tightness in the ankles, denial, frequent urination, sore bladder when I had to urinate, pressure under breasts and in abdominal area.

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