We all like to think that we're keeping on top of our health problems, but let's be honest: it's tough.
As we age, it gets harder and harder to keep track of every ache and pain, and we tend to chalk them up to getting older in general.
But a new study points out why we should keep a close eye on our bodies: a worrying number of women are ignoring deadly cancer symptoms until it's too late.
Women are "risking their lives"
A British organization recently asked women how they would deal with consistent bloating.
More than half said they would change their diet, while only a third answered that they would visit a doctor.
That may sound like a reasonable reaction, but in fact it's very dangerous.
The organization, Target Ovarian Cancer, says women are "risking their lives" with this kind of thinking, and explains that chronic bloating is a major symptom of the disease.
"Lives will be saved" if women learn these symptoms
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in American women. But another study from Target Ovarian Cancer found only one in five women could identify symptoms of the disease.
"If women know ovarian cancer symptoms such as persistent bloating and are able to link them to ovarian cancer early on," says the group's chief executive Annwen Jones, "lives will be saved."
It's as simple as that.
One in 79 American women will develop ovarian cancer, so don't put off learning the symptoms any longer. Keep reading to learn more about this deadly condition.
Experts say ovarian cancer is such a killer because women overlook their symptoms until nothing can be done.
What to watch for
Many the disease's symptoms are already associated with aging, or other chronic conditions. But there are telltale signs that you're dealing with ovarian cancer:
- Look for bloating that doesn't improve with time or changes to your diet.
- Be on the lookout for severe or long-lasting abdominal pain.
- If you notice your body is having trouble eating, and you feel nauseous during meals, see your doctor.
- Some ovarian cancer patients also describe feeling full more quickly during meals.
- Finally, if you need to urinate more often, and need to go urgently, it could be a bad sign.
A simple blood test can identify the cancer early on, so it pays to visit your doctor if you have any doubts.
Researching your family history can also alert you to an ovarian cancer risk: if your mother had ovarian, breast, colon, or other forms of cancer, you're more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Even your father's medical history plays a part. But the news isn't all bad.
Certain things, like having a child before age 26, also lower your ovarian cancer risk.
Be smart, and visit your doctor if you notice these symptoms!