Are you mistaking the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer for Indigestion?

Are you mistaking the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer for Indigestion?

Talking about women’s health, the lack of awareness sometimes creates a huge misunderstanding when you confuse the symptoms of ovarian cancer with indigestion. Women try the home remedies for indigestion instead of going to doctor and here is what makes it worse.

Generally, if you feel bloated nearly every day, what could you think about it? bloating is always related with the digestion and a problem of this kind is self-treated by changing the diet. Hardly any person goes to the doctor for getting a treatment of indigestion.

It is extremely risky because women are also subjected to the risk of this extremely chorionic disease that is ovarian cancer. These symptoms are so persistent that a patient always feels bloated, always feels a full tummy, pain and need to urinate more than normal.

If you are going through any of these symptoms for days, it may not be indigestion but ovarian cancer that your body is trying to tell you. It is not normal to suffer from indigestion for so long. You should see your primary care doctor as soon as possible.

Ovarian cancer was once called a silent killer because it didn’t show any symptoms. But now, these symptoms are known but the even more confusing thing is that these symptoms are everyday things.

It is very difficult to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage. Among all reported cases only 20% cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed at early stages. Usually, at this stage, the treatment is the most effective and there are 100% chances of recovery from it. majority of the cases are diagnosed when cancer has spread to all body, at later stages. It becomes so difficult to treat it this way.

Ovarian cancer was once silent for the symptoms because the development of cancer doesn’t show up like a particular symptom. When you realize that you must be having some problem, it has already reached the late stage. Many doctors confirm that there are no disease symptoms at early stages.

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It was only a few years ago when the scientists observed a few early warning signs of ovarian cancer. Though these warning signs do not appear in all cases when they show up, they show up like bloating, abdominal pain, appetite loss or full, frequent urination etc.

Other effects that rarely show up in ovarian cancer patients are fatigue, nausea, constipation, painful sex, backache, menstrual cycle changes and hormonal imbalance.

Why are signs of ovarian cancer easy to be misdiagnosed?

The obvious symptoms of ovarian cancer are so common. They are involved with a number of daily casual problems such as indigestion. When a patient comes with a complaint of indigestion, no physician takes it as a sign of ovarian cancer at first. In fact, the patient doesn’t even take it seriously. There is no way to diagnose ovarian cancer just by observing indigestion as a sign.

How to know if a woman is suffering from it?

To make sure that ovarian cancer is diagnosed early and is followed by a treatment, it is essentially required that women should visit their doctors. It is also necessary that woman herself notices these changes taking place in her body and to note any unusual and abnormal sign that lasts for more than a couple of weeks.

Anything that you find uncommon might be caused by ovarian cancer. In this case, the patient should be checked completely for the other signs. Some of the common tests for this situation are the pelvic exam, ultrasounds, and related tests.

It’s the time when women should start listening to their bodies. If these uncommon things are happening, this is not a good sign. The need to get the best treatment lies in timely diagnosis. Its not just doctor’s responsibility but also the patient’s responsibility to notice the changes and suspect them. The best part is, every woman understands and knows her body more than any other person. She can easily pick identifying infrequent events.

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It is evident by prevalence studies that older women suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or IBS are usually suffering from ovarian cancer. These two symptoms look so similar that it is difficult to diagnose it.

It also shows that if you are over 50 years of age and are diagnosed with IBS, there are chances that your disease is not just IBS but cancer. Ovarian cancer is highly prevalent among women of ages 55 to 65 years old.

Is there a screening test for ovarian cancer?

There are several screening tests that are developed for ovarian cancer. These include transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and the CA-125 blood test. But these methods may not be very specific to diagnose the condition.

You may also see false positive results. It creates such a huge confusion that it may lead to unnecessary surgery. For now, US Preventive Services Task Force is not recommending a routine screening test on random complaints. It only screens the patients that show symptoms of ovarian cancer.

For a patient with family history of ovarian cancer or BRCA1 or BRCA2, a genetic mutation needs an immediate medical consultancy if they see such symptoms. Only a doctor will help to diagnose if it is a casual disease or ovarian cancer. If you don’t have any symptoms of it yet want to reduce the risk, your doctor will help you in prevention strategy.

Don’t ignore these symptoms

The warnings signs of ovarian cancer can be vague for people but it doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. whatever you feel, it is necessary to relate it with anything so that it is easier to know if there is anything wrong happening inside the body.

whether it is bloated feeling or a pressure at the pelvis, do not ignore it. Make sure to keep a record of your activities, medicines, and symptoms. Also, note the duration of these symptoms because your doctor will ask about it.

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Following are three symptoms that you should not ignore.


  • Bloating: check if it is constant bloating or comes after you take a meal. Also, note the timings, duration and daily food intake of yours.
  • Abdominal discomfort: This must feel like an acid reflux but it hits more often than actual acid reflux. It pains in abdomen and sometimes it also appears like pelvic pressure. This is what makes the patient urinate more than often.
  • Feeling of fullness: The patient may not be able to eat fully. however, there may be no weight loss, despite of low food intake. It also shows up constipation.
  •  Post-menopausal care: If you have just passed your menopause, the symptoms may confuse you with indigestion and ovarian cancer both. All these symptoms are also linked with menopause. But when you have finished your cycle and all of a sudden start feeling these symptoms again, do not ignore them.




Nancy holds a Pharmacy degree from University of Michigan and Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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