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Ovarian Cancer Does Have Early Symptoms

But they're not always easy to recognize

Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer don't discover the disease until it has progressed to its later stages when it is difficult to treat. That's because the cancer is thought to have few or no symptoms in its early stages.

But that may not be true, new research says. The disease apparently does have symptoms, but women need to know what to look for, reports this news service story on DrKoop.com.

Researchers looked at more 400 women, some healthy and some with ovarian cancer. Women from both groups reported feeling abdominal pain, bloating, low back pain and a loss of energy. But the women with ovarian cancer reported these symptoms more often and said that bloating occurred constantly, not intermittently.

The symptoms women need to watch out for are pelvic and abdominal pain, persistent gas, nausea or indigestion, changes in bowel habits, weight gain -- especially in the abdominal region -- and swelling or bloating. Women should also check with their doctor if they are experiencing pain during intercourse, or have constant fatigue or postmenopausal bleeding, according to this article from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

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