Ovarian Cancer - Symptoms, Diagnoses, and Treatments

Most common type of ovarian cancer is ovarian epithelial and starts in the tissues that cover the ovaries.

Possible symptoms may include:

  • Swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Pressure and/or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back or legs
  • Nausea, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and/or gas
  • Feeling tired all of the time
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding including heavy periods or bleeding after menopause
  • Feeling a need to urinate often
  • Shortness of breath

There are many ways to diagnose ovarian cancer that may include:

  • Physical exam (including palpating the abdomen to look for ascites – build up of fluid)
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood tests (CA-125 for example)
  • Ultrasound (exterior abdomen & transvaginal)
  • Biopsy

Treatment may include any one or a combination of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy: Systemic (via blood stream) or Intraperitoneal (directly to abdomen or pelvis)
  • Radiation


Source: NCI – National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov)