Symptoms of ovarian cancer in young patients 2 years before diagnosis, a case-control study.Eur J Cancer Care (Engl) 2008; 17(5):483-7EJ
Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed after it has spread and is difficult to cure. Most of attempts to identify early symptoms have lacked control group or have been based on interviews. We examined early symptoms of ovarian cancer in young women and compared with a matched control group. Symptoms recorded in medical files of 100 women aged 15-35 years with ovarian cancer who were referred to Vali-Asr hospital between 1995 and 2005. Symptoms of cases were compared with 100 matched controls during 2 years before diagnosis. More cases (95%) than controls (28%) complained of at least one symptom up to 2 years before diagnosis, most of these symptoms were abdominal. Others included urinary symptoms, infertility and abnormal vaginal bleeding. The most common symptoms among cases were: unusual abdominal or lower back pain 52%, unusual bloating, fullness and pressure in the abdomen 37%, gastro-intestinal problems 36%. In total, 11%, 3% and 12% of controls reported these symptoms respectively, resulting in odds ratios of 8.7, 18.9 and 4.1 respectively for these symptoms. Unusual abdominal or lower back pain, fullness and pressure, gastrointestinal, urinary problems and infertility should make women and physicians more aware of changes associated with ovarian cancer.