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Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Symptoms often do not appear until ovarian cancer is advanced. The same symptoms can be caused by less serious conditions, such as: But, it is important to discuss symptoms with the doctor. Finding and treating problems early improves outcomes. This is true for both cancer and other health problems.

Symptoms for ovarian cancer are vague. Over time, symptoms may happen more often or last. The most common symptoms are:

  • Belly discomfort, pain, or fullness
  • Gas, bloating, or cramps
  • Nausea, loose stools , problems passing stools , or needing to pee often
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of hunger and weight
  • Increased belly size from fluid— ascites—or problems breathing
  • Pain or feeling of a mass in the:
    • Belly, or
    • Lymph nodes


  • Ovarian cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 28, 2022.
  • Ovarian cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/gynecologic-tumors/ovarian-cancer. Accessed March 28, 2022.
  • Ovarian epithelial, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/ovarian/patient/ovarian-epithelial-treatment-pdq. Accessed March 28, 2022.
  • Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html. Accessed March 28, 2022.


  • Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.