Symptoms & Risk Factors

A Pap smear is NOT a test for ovarian cancer; it detects cervical cancer.

Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?

All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but some are at higher risk:

  • Women with a family or personal history of ovarian or breast cancer.
  • Post-menopausal women.
  • Women who have never been pregnant or given birth.

What Can Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer?

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • Tubal ligation/hysterectomy
  • Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes

The Facts

  • Ovarian cancer is one of the five leading causes of cancer death in America women.
  • Ovarian cancer occurs in approximately 1 in 72 women.
  • Each year, over 20,000 women are diagnosed and about 15,000 women die.
  • A woman’s chance of survival is better if the cancer is found early.
  • A Pap smear is NOT a test for ovarian cancer; it detects cervical cancer.
  • There is not a universally accepted test for ovarian cancer- that is why knowing your family history and recognizing symptoms are so important.

Know Your Body, Know the Signs

Ovarian cancer has symptoms, even in its early stages. Take action and see your doctor, preferably a gynecologist, if the following symptoms are unusual for you and occur almost daily for more than a few weeks:

  • Abdominal pressure, bloating or discomfort
  • Nausea, indigestion or gas
  • Constipation, diarrhea or frequent urination
  • Abnormal female-related bleeding
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Constant feeling of fullness

Know Your Family History

Know Your History