Women Alerted to Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Subtle signs may aid early diagnosis of stealthy disease
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2007 11:09 AM CDT
Women Alerted to Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Celebrity guests, led by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, center, kick off the annual Revlon Run/Walk For Women in New York on Saturday May 5, 2007. The event is to raise money to fight against breast and ovarian cancer. From left are Kyle MacLachlan, Lilly Tartikoff, and Meredith Viera. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)   (Associated Press)

In an effort to dispel the belief that ovarian cancer has few early symptoms, experts are urging women to acquaint themselves with an array of common conditions associated with one of the deadliest types of cancer. The new guidelines acknowledge for the first time that late diagnosis is not a given, opening up the possibility of earlier testing and treatment.

A lead researcher cautions that sudden onset and persistence for two weeks or longer can help distinguish the symptoms—bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, eating trouble, and frequent need to urinate—from both chronic and acute conditions. "We don't want to scare people," she told the Times, adding that early diagnosis is crucial because ovarian cancer is so aggressive. (Read more ovarian cancer stories.)

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