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My journey as a writer began as a child, but my first published book came as a result of my ovarian cancer diagnosis. The title is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received three awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal or pelvic pain is one symptom of ovarian cancer that is often reported. The pain is described as either a dull ache or sharp pain located below the navel. Sometimes there is also bloating, vaginal discharge or bladder problems. Such pain is usually associated with any gynecological cancer, but if it occurs frequently, suddenly and severely there is a greater possibility it could be ovarian cancer. Because pelvic pain in women can be associated with low back problems, gastrointestinal disorders, or menstrual and menopausal symptoms, it is important for the woman to document when the pain occurs, what she is doing at the time, and what has or has not helped to alleviate the pain. Persistence and an increase in frequency and/or intensity of the pelvic pain are key factors. It is recommended that the woman be seen if the symptoms last more than 2-3 weeks.

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (ocna@ovariancancer.org) has a Symptom Diary and an Interim Practice Guidance.  The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (ovarian.org) in conjunction with Dr. Mehumet Oz has a worksheet to monitor possible symptoms. Both organizations provide these important resources for the woman to easily and conveniently print from her computer.

It is interesting to me that I never had the pelvic pain even though my tumor was the size of a honeydew melon. As I said at the beginning, abdominal pain is just one symptom, but it is a common one for any gynecological disorder, including cancer.

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