Why Ovarian Cancer Is Often Misdiagnosed

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September has been designated as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and in honor of those who currently are or who have fought relentlessly against this terrible disease, it is important to highlight the facts every woman needs to know.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer in women across the world. To put this illness into a perspective, every 23 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States. Due to the wide range of symptoms, a general physician could misconstrue an ovarian tumor for one of multiple conditions. Given this, it’s essential that all women go to their yearly OB/GYN wellness exam. The following are ailments that a woman should be wary of, and that could be masking a much more serious problem.

Ovarian Cysts

The initial symptoms that surface in cases of ovarian cancer are common to more benign conditions such as ovarian cysts. Due to the fact that cysts occur fairly often in women, early onset symptoms of ovarian cancer are very rarely correctly diagnosed. Many women are prone to have bloating, abdominal pain, and a lack of appetite in the early stages of this disease. If these indicators persist or become more severe, you should immediately consult your doctor for further evaluation.

 Digestive Disorders

These symptoms are also common with stress-related or a digestive disorder. Gallstones, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease are all stomach conditions that will defaulted to when abdominal pain and bloating occur. An ovarian cancer misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis could mean allowing cancer to further spread and develop, making it much harder to treat when actually discovered. Being on guard and getting regular testing done for ovarian cancer is the best way to know for sure that your reproductive system is healthy.

 Menstrual Cycle

In addition, many women along with their doctors may assume ovarian cancer symptoms are due to their monthly cycle. This is the most general assumption that is made by your doctor and although many times this could be a contributing factor, it would be naïve to rule out any other diagnosis if these symptoms occur frequently. Most importantly, a woman needs to listen to her body and if something doesn’t feel right, always consult your physician or gynecologist immediately.

Ovarian cancer has become an overwhelming and tragic disorder that thousands of women are afflicted with each year. So many have lost loved ones due to misdiagnosis and neglecting to seek medical attention when it was needed. This September, share the symptoms and risks with the women in your life to help put an end to ovarian cancer.

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