Ovarian cancer: A silent killer? | Gleneagles Hospitals
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Women’s Health
Preventive Care

Ovarian cancer: A silent killer?

19 October 2022 · 8 mins read


Ovarian cancer – in its early stages – produces few or non-specific symptoms. Find out more about its risk factors and how to reduce your risk of getting ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that begins in the ovaries, which are part of the female reproductive system.

It is one of the most common cancers among women in Malaysia and is commonly seen in women aged 40 and above.

Ovarian cancer risk factors

Below are the risk factors for ovarian cancer:

  1. Older age: Ovarian cancer is common in women above 40 years
  2. Family history of ovarian cancer: The risk is higher if the woman has a mother or sibling diagnosed with ovarian cancer
  3. Genetic mutations such as BRCA1, BRCA2 or those associated with Lynch syndrome
  4. Endometriosis
  5. Usage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  6. Early menarche or late menopause
  7. Lifestyle habit such as smoking
  8. Obesity

7 ovarian cancer symptoms you should look out for

Ovarian cancer – in its early stages – produces few or non-specific symptoms and they may be attributed to other more common conditions. These vague symptoms often result in the disease progressing undetected until it reaches an advanced stage.

To aid in earlier detection, even vague symptoms should be carefully evaluated. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  1. Abdominal bloating or fullness
  2. Lower abdominal or back pain
  3. Vaginal bleeding (after menopause)
  4. Abnormal vaginal discharge
  5. Urgent or frequent need to urinate
  6. Changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea)
  7. Loss of appetite

Consult your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned.

Reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer

There is no definite way to prevent ovarian cancer. However, the following may be able to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

  1. Usage of combined contraceptive pill
  2. Having children 
  3. Breastfeeding 
  4. Tubal ligation or hysterectomy

Book an appointment at Gleneagles Hospital

Early ovarian cancer detection makes treating the disease more effective with appropriate treatment. The caring and multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals are available for consultation and to provide the best care.

Get in touch with us to book an appointment with an Oncology specialist at Pantai Hospital today.

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