It’s true when doctors say the symptoms of ovarian cancer/cysts are vague. They are vague, but they are there! I ignored my symptoms for months because they weren’t really anything to bother about. It was only when I got terrible pains in my pelvis that I listened to my body. Now, because I ignored them, my cyst is 7cm big and I have to have an operation to remove my ovary.
So, I am going to write a list of symptoms, in the hope that it will ring some bells with other ladies out there, and spur them on to get checked out.
1. I have gone off eating breakfast in the morning. My abdomen feels like there is already something in there. It’s a strange feeling really, like a slight feeling of fullness. This is the vaguest feeling of all, but once I got a diagnosis, I recognised it straight away.
2. Once a month, ( although not every month) I have a pain in my side when I urinate. The pain can vary from mild, to terrible. Sometimes it radiates down my leg. The pain is only when I urinate and it only lasts for about 4 days. Which is why it was easy to ignore.
3. Every now and again I get twinges in my pelvis which makes me stop what I am doing and give it a bit of a rub.
That’s all the symptoms I have had really, although I know other ladies experience more and some won’t experience any of mine. The main one is the first one. Everyday, I have this weird full feeling, but it’s not full like when I eat, it’s a different kind of full. Like there’s a wet sponge sat in my pelvis area.
I realise that these symptoms can mean other things too. Ovulation can cause pain and so can our monthly cycles, so don’t panic. Having a cyst is not the end of the world either, many people get them and they resolve on their own. However, some can become really big, and some can be malignant, so it’s really important that you listen to your body. The only reason ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate is because it isn’t caught early enough. The sypmtoms are not loud enough to be listened to, but they are there so don’t ignore them.
If you have experienced ovarian cysts, please feel free to add to the list of symptoms in the comment box below.
On the 2nd April 2013 I had my left ovary removed and a cyst from my right. It was a testing time because the CT scan, before surgery, showed that the left cyst had vessels and nodes which could have indicated a malignancy. However, after a frozen and thorough biopsy, the cysts were proved to be benign (thank goodness!), and were actually caused by endometriosis, a condition I was unaware I suffered from.