This year, 1400 women will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and 900 of them will die from the disease.

The symptoms vary according to the stage of the cancer. Early stages may have no symptoms noticeable to the person. The most common symptoms are:


  • Increased abdominal size or persisting bloating
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Feeling full quickly or difficulty eating
  • Needing to urinate more often or urgently

Ovarian Cancer Australia has a symptom diary that can be downloaded, your symptoms monitored and a diary completed to take to appointments to assist diagnosis. It is also an iPhone App in iTunes under KISS&Makeup.

Other symptoms to be aware of include:-


  • Changes in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Bleeding at unexpected times
  • Back pain
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse

All of the most common symptoms of Ovarian Cancer are also very common for women to experience for many reasons. If the symptoms are new, and have occurred several times over a four week interval, it is advised that you see your GP regarding possible causes.

Most women will not have Ovarian Cancer causing the symptoms. Without a clear reason found , the possibility of Ovarian cancer needs to be assessed.

There are a range of investigations to diagnose Ovarian Cancer:


  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests ( tumour markers such as CA125)
  • Imaging ( ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan)
  • Colonoscopy ( often to establish that the symptoms are not bowel related)
  • Surgery ( laparoscopy)


The PAP test is only effective in the early detection of cervical cancer, it does not diagnose or test for ovarian cancer.

<- Back to: News