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Ovarian Cancer – The Silent Killer

Ovarian cancer is frequently called the “silent” killer because many times there are no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.

One-third of women in America will get some form of cancer in their lifetime and approximately one and a half percent of those cases will be cancer involving one or both ovaries.

Initial symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mild, making this disease difficult to detect. Some early symptoms may include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • An unusual feeling of fullness or discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swelling and pain of the abdomen
  • Unexplainable indigestion, gas or bloating

Most of the time these symptoms do not indicate ovarian cancer.

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Dealing With Ovarian Problems

The ovaries are a set of organs in the female reproductive system. They are found in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.

The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows. Each ovary is around the size and shape of an almond, and produce eggs and female hormones.

Hormones are chemicals that control the way particular cells or organs function.  During the monthly menstrual cycle, a process called ovulation takes place. Ovulation is when an egg is released from one ovary. The egg moves from the ovary through the fallopian tube to the uterus. The ovaries are also the primary source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones control the development of a women’s breasts, body shape and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

What are ovarian cysts?

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