In most cases, a general physician (GP) should be able to tell you if you have any need to consult an oncologist. However, the success rate of any cancer treatment is closely related to early detection, meaning that it might not be a bad idea to seek out an oncologist and get yourself the care you may need for receiving cancer treatment at the earliest. With that goal in mind, check the following set of symptoms to note if your own condition feels relatable.
The Dozen Rule
Ovarian cancer has several symptoms which are often mistaken as signs of IBD, IBS, and other gastrointestinal health problems. This confusion is understandable given that the symptoms caused by intestinal or gastric disorders and ovarian cancer are very similar during the initial stages. In fact, cancer itself can instigate several gastrointestinal disorders in the patient as well, but there are a few ways to at least suspect the difference.
The dozen rule is the first of them and it states that women with ovarian cancer are likely to experience most of their symptoms at least 12 times per month, which is uncommon among patients suffering from noncancerous gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. Secondly, there are other symptoms that are distinguishable as typical gynaecological health abnormalities, and they will also affect the patient simultaneously. As to what the deceptive and more prominent symptoms are exactly, we will elaborate on those next.
Bloating, aka swollen belly is one of the most confusing and deceptive symptoms of ovarian cancer. If you really have cancer, the bloating may become a far more frequent, painful, and constant occurrence (12 times or more per month) than any common digestive or gastric disorders that normally lead to bloating. Also, this will gradually worsen further with time, but you should never let it get to that stage without diagnosis and subsequent ovarian cancer treatment.
Loss of Appetite and Feeling Full
The bloating will be accompanied by a constant sense of being full and a gradual loss of appetite as a result. Even small meals may start to make you feel too full to eat. Even in the early to mid-stages, the patient may lose their appetite completely. This could quickly lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and rapid, unhealthy weight loss.
If you are experiencing any such symptoms along with bloating, book a consultation with an oncologist immediately. Several Circle Health Group hospitals have oncology wings, and the Group also has 14 specialist and exclusive cancer treatment centres spread throughout the United Kingdom. Their cancer diagnosis and care facilities are staffed by renowned oncologists and state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities designed to provide patients with the most comprehensive cancer treatment, as and when necessary. Cancer treatment is always a multifaceted process that doesn’t only involve chemo, radiotherapy, and surgery, but must also be accompanied by adequate steps for pain management and mental health management.
Constant Need to Urinate
This particular symptom of ovarian cancer is identical to what most of us have experienced already at some point while suffering from a urinal tract infection. However, there won’t be the characteristic burning sensation or fever which is typically common with UTIs during the early stages of ovarian cancer. Also, unlike most UTIs (not all), the need to pee constantly will not go away after a course of antibiotics.
Once the pain begins, it will always start from a point in your back, roughly in between the two hip bones. That is where the ovaries are located, so you can check the anatomical location to see if that’s where your pain feels to be originating from. When left undiagnosed and untreated, the cancer will spread, making it impossible for the patient to locate a point of origin anymore. Initially, the pain may feel dull or it might even go away at times, but the intensity and frequency will only increase with time. Act before that happens to give yourself a much better chance of making a full recovery post-treatment.
Ovarian cancer shares quite a few symptoms with other gynaecological cancers such as uterine cancer, but that is not an issue here. It is up to your doctors to detect if you have cancer to begin with, and if so, where the malignancies have originated. What is far more important on your part is that you do not ignore the symptoms mentioned here. Get yourself checked by a professional oncologist just to be sure because there’s nothing to lose here.
People often avoid getting tested for cancer, despite experiencing all the symptoms because they are afraid. Fear of finding out is a very real problem to deal with as it usually leads to denial. However, there is a silver lining to overcoming fear and denial here as well. At best, you will be certain about the fact that you do not have cancer, and at worst, the disease will be detected at an early stage, giving you a significantly higher chance of recovering from it.