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Signs & Symptoms

There is no early detection test for Ovarian Cancer, so it is very important for all women to be aware of the symptoms. The most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Persistent abdominal bloating

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly

  • Needing to urinate often or urgently

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Unexplained weight gain



If a woman has these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, she should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist. *

These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign (non-cancerous) diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and represent a change from normal — for example, they occur more often or are more severe.



When the symptoms are persistent - they do not resolve with normal interventions (like diet change, exercise, laxatives, rest) - it is imperative for a woman to see her doctor. They will be able to examine you and if necessary, do further tests to find the cause of your problems.

Additional Symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight gain or loss

  • Excessive fatigue

  • Lower back pain

  • Indigestion or nausea

  • Bleeding after menopause or in-between periods

  • Pain during sex or bleeding after sex



If you are not comfortable with your doctor’s diagnosis or you are still concerned about unexplained persistent symptoms, you should seek a second opinion. You know your body better than anyone else, so always listen to what your body is saying and trust your gut.


As we continue our mission to raise awareness and educate Arkansans concerning the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, we have produced ovarian cancer educational posters & brochures. If you would like to help raise awareness by displaying a poster or brochures, please email us at

*American Cancer Society

The persistence of symptoms is key. Because these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer have been described as vague or silent, only around 19% of ovarian cancer is found in the early stages.

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