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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


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Ovarian Cancer

As with most cancers, this cancer is more likely as women get older and it sometimes called the “silent cancer” because it may present no symptoms or symptoms easily dismissed as something else.

Women are at slightly higher risk if:

  • They have never had children or had their first child after age 30
  • Experience menopause after age 50
  • Used hormone replacement therapy for more than 10 years
  • Have a family history of ovarian, breast, endometrial or colon cancer
  • Have had breast cancer

Unlike mammography for breast cancer and Pap tests for cervical cancer, there are no effective tests for catching ovarian cancer early. A pelvic exam should be part of your regular health exam.

You should see doctor promptly if you have any of these persistent symptoms:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Digestive problems including gas, loss of appetite or bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling like you need to urinate all the time
  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Leg pain

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