Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
When it comes to cancer types that disproportionately affect women, breast cancer gets a lot of buzz. (And by all means, continue your regular self-exams and mammograms, please!) Still, it’s important to tune in to the signs of ovarian cancer, too.
The Canadian Cancer Society reports that 2,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017, and an estimated 1,800 will die from the disease. But according to new research from Target Ovarian Cancer, most women wouldn’t recognize one major red flag. (So why is the Canadian government ignoring these ovarian cancer facts?)
The ovarian cancer symptom most women miss
The British charity surveyed 1,000 women to determine their knowledge of the risk and protection factors of ovarian cancer. Overall, just one per cent knew that feeling the frequent need to urinate is a symptom of the disease.
Is peeing a sign of ovarian cancer?
“Needing to wee more often or more urgently – and indeed, all of the symptoms of ovarian cancer – can occur because a mass in the abdominal area is pushing on the surrounding organs, including the bladder,” according to Katherine Pinder, deputy director of services at Target Ovarian Cancer.
Granted, there are lots of other reasons for taking a bathroom break more frequently than normal. Increasing your water consumption, becoming pregnant, or suffering from a condition like diabetes can all boost your urge.
Frequent urination likely is not a big deal, unless you have other symptoms
But it’s still important to be aware of the small possibility that your peeing is a sign of cancer – especially if you’re experiencing other common signs of ovarian cancer like abdominal bloating, appetite loss, or pelvic and/or abdominal pain. If you display any of these symptoms, it’s always best to book an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible.
Ovarian cancer isn’t the only cancer with unusual symptoms. Don’t miss the cancer symptoms that women are likely to ignore.
Originally published as Attention, Women: You Might Be Missing This Common Sign of Ovarian Cancer on ReadersDigest.com.