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Published on August 29, 2022

Ovarian Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and What You Should Know

Ovarian Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and What You Should Know

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Kelly Leggett, MD, explains what you should know about ovarian cancer in this 2 Your Well-Being discussion with WFMY News 2.

What are the risk factors of ovarian cancer?

“The most important thing is knowing your family history. If maternal relatives have a history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer – and even men can have breast cancer – knowing your complete family history is important. There are some other risk factors for ovarian cancer besides your genetics: a history of pelvic radiation; there is a mild association with endometriosis; and also there’s exposure to asbestos, which is pretty rare these days. Women who have never been pregnant and carried a child to term… or never have been pregnant also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.”

What symptoms of ovarian cancer should women look out for?

"Ovarian cancer can masquerade as urinary symptoms and gastrointestinal symptoms, so many women may blow these complaints off. The most commons symptoms are abdominal pain, pelvic pain, bloating and feeling full early. Other more rare symptoms are menstrual disturbances, urinary frequency, and pain with intercourse. But with all of these things, you can ask your doctor about them to determine if you need to test for ovarian cancer.”

When should you contact a doctor?

“[You should contact your doctor] if something is new to you. Periodically, through a women's life, you can have these symptoms. So when something comes up new, that’s when you call your doctor. If these symptoms have lasted for a month and if you notice it about 12 times in that month, I would definitely contact your doctor.”

Learn more by watching the full video interview above.

2 Your Well-Being

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