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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lori Location: Maine on Apr 16, 2012 at 02:34 PM
    For the past 3 months I have had bloating abdominal pain. The Doctor gave me a C-125 test for ovarian cancer it was negative. I had an pap swab nothing yet, I have had an outer and internal ultrasound. Multiple cysts on right ovary next week I will have my left ovary looked at the technician couldn't get a picture of the left the first time. Now I am taking an antibiotic for maybe a bacterial infection on my intestines. I have been constipated. Now my legs hurt. I have some back pain too.
  • by Ursula Location: Minnesota on Dec 17, 2011 at 08:05 PM
    Depending on where you live, there may be non-profits that help those who are uninsured. Please contact the American Cancer Society for further info about this www.cancer.org
  • by momma Location: IN on Dec 2, 2011 at 03:36 AM
    I HAVE ALL THESE SYMPTOMS. No health insurance. I've felt this way for about 6 weeks...I don't know what to do! I have lost my 7 y/o son to leukemia, my 52 y/o momma to ALS, and my daddy to cancer at the age of 62. My sister was just recently diagonised with RA and Lupus. I don't know if this means anything. WITHOUT INSURANCE, WHAT DOES A WOMAN DO?? I have not had a mammogram nor pap in over 5 years, I'M 51. ANY ADVISE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! THANKS!
  • by GDEE Location: BKLYN, NY on Oct 11, 2011 at 09:13 AM
    Please check tealwalk.org. Trying to make a difference!!! Need Volunteers!!!
  • by WTOK on Sep 20, 2011 at 04:02 PM
    Look under the headline for DR. OZ QUIZ. Click and wait for it to load.
  • by KATHY Location: CLEVELAND OHIO on Sep 20, 2011 at 03:44 PM
    where can i get the quiz ?
  • by Roseanne Location: Lady Lake FL on Sep 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM
    Bunk !!! I had stage III ovairan cancer w/ none of those symptoms...do not rely on them for your answer. The best thing for women is their GYN to be knowledgeable enough to check you over for this upon your regular GYN exam. Unfortunately this is not a standard part of the exam. I was 25 yrs old...it's not age related. The tumors are generally Under the ovairy and can't be felt that's the problem. It starts w/your GYN ..there is no pain/puffyness or family history...I had 20% survival chance..and w/luck I'm here 35 years later...if I'm not mistaken you can have blood tests to check T cell levels for it.
  • by Barbara on Sep 15, 2011 at 09:22 PM
    I feel vaginal ultra sound should be part of womens annual exam, Pap smears are to check for cervical cancer and no test are done to check for ovarian cancer and should be part of routine visit on annual exams. It takes a minute to check with vaginal ultrasound.
  • by jan ellis Location: california on Sep 14, 2011 at 02:29 PM
    my sister ignored the early signs, because she also had no insurance. Even when she did go to her dr. because her bloating made it hard to breath, he gave her water pills and sent her home. Two days later she had to go to the emergency room because she could not breath. They found she had ovarian cancer, she was sent to a large hospital, where she under went surgery, and had cemotherapy, but it was to late. She passed away in 6 months of diagnosis. At least they did try insurance or not. Please don't wait if you have any symtoms at all because when it gets so bad you can't take it, its probably to late by then. I miss my sister so much. Jan
  • by Rose Location: Sonora, Ca. on Sep 13, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    Best Show Ever. I've always thought you do not spend enough time on each subject. This one was great!
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