Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
What are the signs of ovarian cancer?

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Patients with ovarian cancer often do not have symptoms until late in the disease process. Symptoms are often vague and include weight gain or loss, abdominal bloating, feeling full after eating only a small meal, pelvic pressure, indigestion, and a need to urinate frequently.

Unfortunately, these symptoms are common and not specific for ovarian cancer. Any woman, particularly one over the age of 40, who has persistent symptoms without another identified cause, should be screened by her physician and the diagnosis of ovarian cancer considered.