Elly Mayday documents getting treatment for ovarian cancer
The ovaries produce eggs integral for reproduction. The eggs travel from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes into the uterus where the fertilised egg settles in and develops into a foetus. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormone’s oestrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer occurs when cancer starts as the cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Persistent bloating is a warning sign.
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It’s normal to experience some bloating, especially after eating gassy foods or consuming too quickly.
However, if experiencing persistent bloating which doesn’t go away is actually one of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Bloating which is related to ovarian cancer may cause visible swelling in the abdomen.
A person’s belly might feel full, puffy, or hard. You may also have other symptoms, like weight loss.
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Ovarian cancer: Feeling a constant bloating sensation could be an early sign (Image: Getty Images)
If you have ovarian cancer, your bloating is likely caused by ascites, said Healthline.
The health site continued: “Ascites is when fluid builds up in your abdomen.
“Ascites often form when cancer cells spread to the peritoneum. The peritoneum is the lining of your abdomen.
“They can also develop when cancer blocks part of your lymphatic system, which causes fluid to build up because it can’t drain out normally.
“Bloating is one of the first symptoms of ovarian cancer that you may notice, but it’s usually considered a sign of advanced disease.”
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Other signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Quickly feeling full when eating
- Weight loss
- Discomfort in the pelvis area
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- A frequent need to urinate.
Ovarian cancer: Unexplained weight loss could also indicate the disease (Image: Getty Images)
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It’s not clear what causes ovarian cancer, though doctors have identified factors that can increase the risk of the disease, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site continued: “In general, cancer begins when a cell develops errors (mutations) in its DNA.
“The mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply quickly, creating a mass (tumour) of abnormal cells.
“The abnormal cells continue living when healthy cells would die.
“They can invade nearby tissues and break off from an initial tumour to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasize).”
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Risk factors for ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by gene mutations you inherit from your parents. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes also increase the risk of breast cancer.
People with two or more close relatives with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease.
Beginning menstruation at an early age or starting menopause at a later age, or both, may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.