Possible Causes of Pelvic Pain

Ovarian Cancer

One of the least common causes of pelvic pain is ovarian cancer. Less than 2 percent of women get ovarian cancer, and it usually occurs after menopause. The disease became better known after the 1989 death of comedian Gilda Radner.

Still, this year alone, an estimated 26,700 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,800 will die from it. Many women fear the disease because it has a high mortality rate and rarely announces itself until after it has already spread.

Symptoms: Women with ovarian cancer often experience bloating, heartburn, and a dull pain in their abdomen. If you are over 40 and are having vague digestive disturbances, you may want to alert your doctor. In its advanced stage, the cancer causes cramping, fatigue, pronounced swelling, and weight loss.

Diagnosis: Early detection is key. Sixty percent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Most cases are found with ultrasound, or a special blood test called a CA-125.

Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the most common treatment paths.

Continued on page 9:  Alternative Therapies for Pelvic Pain