Women Are Mistaking Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer for Bloating, New Study Says

February 22, 2018 Updated: February 24, 2018

Christabel Duah

According to a new research, women may be suffering from ovarian cancer without even knowing it.

A study completed by the Target Ovarian Cancer (TOC) shared on Monday found that instead of visiting a physician after feeling symptoms including bloating and fullness, women are more likely to simply change their diets. By just switching to eating probiotic yogurts or leaving out gluten from their diets, women are putting themselves at risk, because persistent bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer. According to the TOC, ovarian cancer symptoms include a bloated stomach, more frequent urination, continued feelings of fullness and stomach pain.

The research, which took place in the U.K., found that 50 percent of women opted to change their diets, while only 34 percent would see their doctors over concerns about bloating. Additionally, women over age 55, who have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, were more likely to look up their symptoms online instead of seeing a professional.

After the TOC published their findings online, one woman responded with a story of her own mother, who’d believed her symptoms of ovarian cancer had actually been Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) or urinary tract infections.

The newly released report is meant to raise awareness for the disease, which, according to the American Cancer Society, is the fifth ranking cause of death among women. Women have a 1 in 79 chance of developing ovarian cancer and a 1 in 108 risk of dying as a result, although the rate of women being diagnosed with it has fallen over the past two decades.

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