September isn’t just the first month of fall, it’s also National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!

Ovarian cancer accounts for 15,000 deaths every year, and an estimated 1 in 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As with many types of cancer, early detection is key for successful treatment. In fact, if it is caught within the first year, the survival rate is over 90%. Most women only see their OBGYN in Venice on an annual basis, so it is important to know what the symptoms of ovarian cancer are and if you are at risk.

Risk factors of Ovarian Cancer:

  • Age – Although a woman of any age can develop ovarian cancer, it is most common in women who have already experienced menopause.
  • Fertility treatment
  • Smoking
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Intrauterine device
  • Infertility or never had kids
  • Family or personal history of colon/breast/ovarian cancer
  • Genetic predisposition

If you are genetically predisposed to ovarian cancer, your doctor may recommend that you get regular blood tests and pelvic imaging.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

  • Abdominal swelling or bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling full quickly when eating
  • Discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Constipation and other changes in bowel habits
  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse

As you can probably guess, the above symptoms could be indicative of many things other than ovarian cancer. However, if your symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks, you should visit your OBGYN. It is also important to note that, in the early stages of ovarian cancer, you may not experience any symptoms at all, which makes it incredibly important to visit your OBGYN as recommended.