All women are at risk for ovarian cancer, but the greatest number of ovarian cancers happen in women 60 years or older. For women in the United States, ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death.

Ovarian cancer symptoms

Early diagnosis is the key to survival, and the key to early diagnosis is recognizing the signs of ovarian cancer:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Pain in the back or abdomen
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urgency or frequency of urination

Ovarian cancer diagnosis

There is no simple or reliable way to screen for ovarian cancer in women who don’t have signs or symptoms. The signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may be hard to recognize so it’s important to pay attention to your body and know what’s normal for you. If you notice any signs of ovarian cancer that last for 2 weeks or longer, talk to your doctor and ask about possible causes. Something other than cancer can cause signs, but the only way to know is to see your health care professional.

Medicare coverage for ovarian cancer screening

Medicare covers many services to address your concerns, like a yearly wellness visitbone mass measurementcervical cancer screeningsmammograms, and cardiovascular screenings. Medicare also covers other preventive services.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time for you to learn more about this disease and know the symptoms. Visit the Centers for Disease Control for more information on signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.