What are the signs of ovarian cancer?
Ovarian cancer has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, you may notice abdominal discomfort and swelling, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms. Be familiar with the risk factors and signs of ovarian cancer, and see your doctor if you suspect a problem.
Who is at high risk of ovarian cancer?
Should I be concerned if I feel pain in one or both ovaries?
Ovary pain is not a specific symptom of ovarian cancer, but you should talk to your doctor about any abdominal or pelvic pain you experience.
Are fibroids or ovarian cysts related to ovarian cancer?
Fibroids are not related to ovarian cancer, and most ovarian cysts are not cancerous (and will not develop into cancer). However, some complex ovarian cysts may be cancerous and should be monitored by your doctor.
Can you feel a lump with ovarian cancer?
You will not be able to detect an ovarian mass by yourself. During a screening, your doctor may perform an internal pelvic examination, in which he or she will insert a gloved hand into your vagina. The other gloved hand will gently press on your abdomen to feel for abnormalities.
Where can ovarian cancer spread?
If a suspicious ovarian mass is found, your surgeon will check for the spread of cancer in the tissues and organs surrounding the area. Your surgeon may also perform a biopsy of your lymph nodes, abdominal tissues and the tissues near your stomach
Can I start an ovarian cancer clinical trial at the start of my treatment, or is it only for people whose first treatments have failed?
You can enter a clinical trial upon diagnosis or at any time in the course of the disease. In fact, we encourage it. If you are interested in enrolling in a clinical trial, please talk with your doctor.
How many ovarian cancer patients treated at Penn Medicine are on a clinical trial?
30 percent to 40 percent of our ovarian cancer patients are enrolled in a clinical trial.
Will I have to travel to Philadelphia to participate in a clinical trial?
Most people who are enrolled in clinical trials will be treated in Philadelphia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, but some people may be treated in our other facilities throughout the Philadelphia region.
What if I don’t want to participate in a clinical trial?
Patients who don’t qualify or are not interested in clinical trials can get standard therapy both at Penn Medicine’s downtown Philadelphia hospitals and within the Penn Medicine system throughout the Delaware Valley.
Can I have children after an ovarian cancer diagnosis?
If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, our fertility preservation program will evaluate your options for having a family in the future. This might include egg preservation, in-vitro fertilization and other advanced reproductive techniques.
How long can you live after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
For the most common ovarian cancer, epithelial ovarian cancer, the average 5-year relative survival rate is 47 percent. However, that survival rate does not factor in some recently approved therapies or therapies that are in clinical trials. Also, the survival rate is dependent on the stage of your cancer. When detected early, the average 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is more than 90 percent.
What are the stages of ovarian cancer?
All cancers are divided into four stages. The characteristics of each stage depend on the cancer. For ovarian cancer:
- Stage I: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries
- Stage II: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to other areas of the pelvis.
- Stage III: Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread beyond the pelvis to other parts of the abdomen and/or to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IV: Cancer has spread beyond the abdomen to other parts of the body.