Symptoms of ovarian cancer include discomfort in the pelvis, weight loss, frequent need to urinate, constipation, and abdominal swelling and bloating. Ovarian cancer may be asymptomatic or cause symptoms that women can easily overlook or mistake for other common conditions, according to Mayo Clinic.
Additional symptoms of ovarian cancer include menstrual changes, painful intercourse, back pain and fatigue. Symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are persistent, occur more frequently and are more severe than normal, says the American Cancer Society. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are more common and become more severe when the disease has spread beyond the ovaries.
The location of the ovaries in the abdominal cavity, the absence of symptoms and a lack of routine diagnostic screening make early detection of ovarian cancer difficult, reports Healthline. When doctors can detect ovarian cancer before it spreads, the prognosis is very good. As of 2015, approximately 94 percent of women with early detection live beyond five years after their diagnosis.
Women with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Mutations in the genes associated with ovarian cancer may also increase one's risk. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer also increases with age, according to Healthline.