According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women in the U.S. It is a cancer of the female reproductive system, and the average American woman has about a one in 75 chance of developing it in her lifetime. Though treatable, early diagnosis results in the best recovery. Here are some of the early symptoms of the disease.

In its early stages, ovarian cancer usually doesn't cause many symptoms, but if it does, they can easily be mistaken for another, less serious condition. According to the American Cancer Society, early symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:

Abdominal swelling or bloating

Pelvic pressure or abdominal pain

Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Urinary symptoms, such as having to go more often or more urgently

Less common early symptoms of ovarian cancer may include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain during sex, constipation, and menstrual irregularities. However, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance reports that the number and frequency of symptoms are more important than the symptoms themselves when its comes to early cancer diagnosis. For example, according to the American Cancer Society, if a woman has one or more of these symptoms 12 times a month, she should consult a doctor.

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled that can develop on the ovaries. Though these cysts are quite common during a woman’s childbearing years, for post-menopausal women, the cysts could be due to ovarian cancer. Early signs of ovarian cysts may include:

Pelvic pain

Pain shortly before or after beginning your period

Pressure, swelling or pain in the abdomen

A dull ache in the lower back and thighs

Difficulty emptying your bladder

Pain during sex

Abnormal bleeding

Nausea or vomiting

Still, experts agree that the best way to diagnosis early ovarian cancer are regular pelvic exams conducted by a doctor.

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