Fast Five Quiz: Ovarian Cancer

Michel E. Rivlin, MD


September 27, 2018

A case-control study showed that symptoms independently associated with the presence of ovarian cancer were pelvic and abdominal pain, increased abdominal size and bloating, and difficulty eating or feeling full.

Physical findings are uncommon in patients with early disease. Patients with more advanced disease may present with any of the following:

  • Ovarian or pelvic mass

  • Ascites

  • Pleural effusion

  • Abdominal mass or bowel obstruction

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea, or other digestive disorders, have been associated with later-stage disease. Presentation with swelling of a leg due to venous thrombosis is not uncommon. Paraneoplastic syndromes due to tumor-mediated factors lead to various presentations.

A prospective case-control study of 1709 women visiting primary care clinics found that the combination of bloating, increased abdominal size, and urinary symptoms was found in only 8% of patients overall but in 43% of those with ovarian cancer.

For more on the presentation of ovarian cancer, read here.


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