Dr. Oz Show Focuses on Ovarian Cancer

The Dr. Oz Show is addressing the issue of ovarian cancer.

Dr. Oz says there are early symptoms of this killer disease, but the diagnosis is often missed, because the symptoms mimic so many other less dangerous conditions.

He says a survey by the University of Washington found that, out of 1700 women with ovarian cancer, 36 percent had been given the wrong diagnosis and 12 percent were told it was all in their heads.

First Early Warning Sign: Bloating
Bloating is so common, but when should women worry? The key is to look for changes. If the bloating is new, occurs almost daily and persists more than two to three weeks, you need to see a doctor.

Second Early Warning Sign: Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
Ovarian cancer causes pelvic or abdominal pain because of the way it grows. The peritoneal surface is like saran wrap, with nerves on it, so it is sensitive to distention and movement. Women who have pain should also address how bad the pain is at its worst on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being mild and 10 is severe.

Third Early Warning Sign: Difficulty Eating or Feeling Full Quickly
The question women need to answer is: how much of their meal can they typically eat before they feel full? When the ovary releases chemicals and slows the gut down, it makes the transit times through the intestines slower. Women can experience constipation but also can have difficulty eating because things aren't moving and making room for food. Then as the cancer spreads, it can actually implant on the intestine and cause partial blockages, which then can create nausea, vomiting and difficulty in eating.

Fourth Early Warning Sign: Feeling a Frequent or Urgent Need to Urinate
So many doctors dismiss this symptom as a UTI or bladder infection. You can tell the difference between that and something more serious by using a dipstick test. Ask your doctor for it when you have chronic symptoms every day for more than 2 weeks.

Dr. Oz has prepared a brief quiz for you to take for his "Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer" campaign.

Watch Dr. Oz Tuesday at 4 p.m. as he addresses this important health topic.

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