Ovarian cancer symptoms: The subtle sign in your back indicating ‘cancer cells’

Janey Godley gives update on her Ovarian cancer

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There are around 7,500 new ovarian cancer cases in the UK every year, according to Cancer Research UK. The Mayo Clinic says: “When ovarian cancer first develops, it might not cause any noticeable symptoms. When ovarian cancer symptoms happen, they’re usually attributed to other, more common conditions.” It says signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include back pain.

The Mayo Clinic explains doctors know that ovarian cancer begins when cells in or near the ovaries develop changes in their DNA.

It explains: “The changes tell the cells to grow and multiply quickly, creating a mass (tumour) of cancer cells.”

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

Needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual, is a possible sign of ovarian cancer, according to Target Ovarian Cancer.

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Persistent bloating, feeling full quickly, loss of appetite, and pelvic or abdominal pain are also signs to be aware of.

Occasionally there can be other symptoms. These include changes in bowel habits such as diarrhoea or constipation, as well as feeling very tired.

Some people will experience explained weight loss, which is also associated with ovarian cancer.

“Any bleeding after the menopause should always be investigated by a GP,” Target Ovarian Cancer’s site adds. Ovarian cancer mainly affects women who have been through the menopause, but it can also affect younger women.

The NHS recommends that you see a GP if you have been feeling bloated, particularly more than 12 times a month.

If you have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that will not go away you should also see a GP.

The NHS adds that if you have a family history of ovarian cancer and are worried you may be at a higher risk of getting it, you should also seek the advice of your GP.

As many of these symptoms mimic other conditions, it is also important to be aware of the risk factors for ovarian cancer.

Cancer Research UK says there are some factors that can increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer.

A risk factor is anything that can increase your risk of cancer. A protective factor is anything that lowers the risk of cancer.

It explains: “As with most cancers, ovarian cancer becomes more common as you get older. The risk of ovarian cancer increases steeply from around 45 years. And is greatest in those aged between 75 and 79 years.”

The charity states: “Smoking can increase the risk of certain types of ovarian cancer such as mucinous ovarian cancer. The longer you have smoked, the greater the risk.”

Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely get ovarian cancer, it notes.

Cancer Research says there are also factors which may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer:

It says: “Taking the combined contraceptive pill at some point in your life reduces your risk of cancer of the ovary.

“Research has shown that the longer you take the pill, the more your risk is thought to be reduced. The reduction in risk lasts for tens of years after you stop taking the pill.”

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